Billed as the ‘Battle of the Billionaires’, this is a game that Chelsea must win if they are to capitalise from United’s thrashing at the hands of Liverpool.
Facing Chelsea is never an easy feat and with City’s abysmal record away from home, this is a game which looks over before it is started. That said, City have nothing to lose going into this fixture and with a few ex-Chelsea players and confidence from an emphatic UEFA Cup win, City may well have something to prove on the pitch. This match is anything but decided.
City boss Mark Hughes commented: ‘Chelsea are in top form but we are ready for the challenge and travel with our confidence as high as it has been all season.
‘I always feel that the top teams give you a little bit more time and space on occasions and we clearly have the tools to hurt teams and hopefully we will get the chance.
‘We believe we can cause Chelsea problems especially on the counter attack which we are very adept at. We are looking forward to it. It is a good time for us to be going there because we are confident and from their point of view they have to win the game so it should be open.’
Manchester City keeper Shay Given said: ‘Chelsea have improved since Guus Hiddink went there.
‘They already had some good players there and Hiddink is a fantastic coach. He has given them more belief and that will ensure it is a tough game for us.
‘We are still in the early stages of building and it might take a little bit of time. But there is no reason why we cannot look up to them and try to get there.’
Chelsea FC Team News:
Ricardo Carvalho could make a return into the heart of defence alongside the media’s latest link, John Terry.
Essien is back just at the right time for Chelsea; with an accomplished display against Juventus, he will be a welcome addition to the Chelsea midfield if picked.
Player to watch: Didier Drogba
Five goals in six Premier League appearances against Manchester City mean that Drogba is more than a match for Manchester City’s defence.
Manchester City FC Team News:
Manchester City midfield maestro’s Nigel de Jong and Vincent Kompany remain out of action, meaning that Zabaleta will once again be soley responsible for breaking up opposition attacks.
Craig Bellamy is also on the injury list which presents Filipe Caicedo another chance to add to his goal tally.
Bojinov is available after missing out on City’s UEFA Cup win, while Shaun Wright-Phillips and Wayne Bridge are both available to prove a point on their return to their previous club.
Player to watch: Richard Dunne
Richard Dunne has hit form again since his return and he will need to be a defensive rock if City are to keep Guus Hiddink’s revived Chelsea at bay.
Match Facts & Stats
Two of the most deadly attacks in the Premier League go head-to-head. The difference between their league positions is the massive 20 extra goals conceded by Manchester City.
Mike Riley officiates this game. 16 games have seen 4 red cards and 73 yellows; with a card rate of 4.81 cards per match, Manchester City will be hoping not to have any further suspensions to hinder their progress.
Manchester City have nothing to lose in a game few would predict to win, even with a good away record. City have anything but that, and being ‘typical City’, no doubt we will suprise everyone with a 3-0 demolition. I am not that optomistic, but I think with all of the pressure on Chelsea to win, we have enough in us to grab a point on the counter-attack. Chelsea 1-1 MCFC.
Away at Aalborg in the UEFA cup on Thursday 19th March at 8pm.