This Sunday in the English Premier League Manchester City takes on Chelsea. A win for either team will help their chances at taking second in the EPL table.
This is one of those matches that is going to be huge in the winding down of the season. Mancini may think that their FA Cup win will catapult them back into the title race, but I’m not so sure they have the team to make that leap this season. Against Chelsea they have a battle that will go a long way towards determining some of the top places in the league, particularly second and third.
Manchester United currently have a 12 point lead at the top and are 16 points ahead of Chelsea, but Manchester City have only a 4 point lead on third place Chelsea. A win for Chelsea completely opens up the race to take second. If City goes on any kind of slump they could easily drop further down the table. Chelsea definitely has the team available to come through with a big win, but they have shown time and time again that they are still inconsistent.
Both teams are coming off of good outings in the FA Cup, but Chelsea will be going into Sunday’s match following their Europa League match only three days prior. The fortunate thing for them is that their match is at home on Thursday. Chelsea has had good results on the road (7-3-3) by scoring 25 goals and allowing 16. This compares to Manchester City’s home form (9-3-1) of scoring 29 goals and allowing only 11. It will be an interesting match to watch to see which teams tactics are able to shine.
For Manchester City they have a good chance to have Vincent Kompany available and I do think he will be played due to the importance of the match. In addition Yaya Toure should be well rested for the match. Gareth Barry is questionable, but I could see him being on the bench. Chelsea don’t have any injury concerns at the time of writing and will surely field a strong side.
This is going to be a match in which both manager will need to get their tactics right. I think it will be a good match to watch, but also one that will be won and lost in midfield more than anywhere else on the pitch. Some reports say that Frank Lampard will be sat out for the match, but I feel this is a match crying out for his experience. In the end I’m predicting a draw that won’t make the fight for second any more clear.
Manchester City (W, W, D, D, L) 2 – 2 Chelsea (D, W, D, L, W)