It is difficult to predict how much impact one single game has on a whole season. Only in hindsight can we really offer opinions on where a title was won and lost. This weekend’s clash between the European Champions and the Premier League Champions is undoubtedly a big one.
It is the first time the two teams have met since the Manchester side won the Community Shield 3-2 and could be a telling encounter. This fixture affords City the chance to open up a 7 point league from one of their main title rivals.
Chelsea will still be without captain John Terry and Frank Lampard, who are both still injured. Their leadership and experience would be a vital tool at such a time, but will have to show their support from the dugout.
Man City could lose their Captain Vincent Kompany due an injury picked up against Real Madrid.
With Di Matteo sent packing after a miserable performance in the Champions League, Roberto Mancini could also be in a spot of hot water if he fails to get a result at Stamford Bridge. The board of directors at the Etihad will be displeased at exiting the Champions League so early on.
If Rafa Benitez wants to start his new job with a positive result he will need to be aware that City have looked uncertain in defence at times when operating with 3 at the back. If anyone can find some holes in City’s defence it is Juan Mata whose pin point passing could open up vital opportunities for the Blues.
Chelsea have had the tougher fixtures of late and this is reflected in their results with just 2 wins in their last 6 Premier League outings. Man City have featured better and with a 5-0 romping of Aston Villa fresh in the memory they will look to continue their run of domestic form.
While things in Europe have gone badly for both Chelsea and Manchester City, they will now concentrate on their domestic campaign to ease their suffering and get back on track. Chelsea probably need this more and to beat City they will have to prove they want it more on the pitch. It is a must win game for both teams and should prove to be a thrilling encounter.
I predict a cagey opening half but goals none the less: Chelsea 2-2 Manchester City.
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