Does anyone care?
Yes. It's the English Premier League, and the league leaders may be clear at the top of the table by 12 points, but fans still care. People who follow the league still care and in a league where anything can happen, Manchester City vs Chelsea will always be one of the biggest games.
Then of course, there's the curious managerial cases — Roberto Mancini proclaiming that he is the 'best manager in England' and Rafael Benitez trying to teach Fernando Torres how to kick a ball into the back of the net.
The match kicks-off at 7 PM on Sunday.
City have just started off on what looks set to be a trophy-laden future. Despite any arguments, money will buy them a trophy now and again — and the Abu Dhabi based owners aren't going anywhere too soon.
The two teams have clashed 137 times in total, with Chelsea winning 55 of those games. There have been 37 draws.
Chelsea, while travelling to the Sky Blues' home, have won 21 of 68 matches.
It's going to be pretty tight too. Chelsea have scored an average of 1.42 goals per match, compared to City's 1.26 goals per match.
So if anyone tries to douse the excitement of watching two oil-powered clubs clash, tell them the above facts and revel in glory.
In the Premier League, Manchester City have failed to win their last three games. This has take them from title-contenders to complete outsiders. Chelsea never made a legible challenge since the start —with the firing of managers and all that usual activity at the Bridge.
However, their EPL form as below.
Obvious thing is, if City lose this match, they can prepare to send a bottle of wine and some flowers to Alex Ferguson come the end of the season.
Yaya Toure vs Frank Lampard: Yaya's hasn't reached the heights of last season, but he's still a formidable force to deal with. But judging by Lampard's recent form — and his intent to prove the contract-givers at Chelsea wrong — we will give this battle to the 34-year-old midfield genius (who has scored in his last four EPL games).
Pablo Zabaleta vs Eden Hazard: One thing Zabaleta brings to City is reliability. He can be called upon to do a task, and he usually does it well. But his forays forward may have to be limited, with Hazard a constant floating danger cutting in from the left.
Gareth Barry vs Juan Mata/Oscar: Oscar starts through the middle but loves a run on the right wing. Mata starts on the right but is usually the creative epicenter for Chelsea. And breaking all these plays is Barry. He has been in decent form recently but Chelsea's attacking trio could be too hard to stop at times and Barry will need all the support. We believe an interchanging Chelsea should win it in midfield.
Sergio Aguero vs Branislav Ivanovic: It's Aguero's speed vs Ivanovic's strength — so there's very little to choose from. Sometimes the Argentine will get the better of the Serb and it's how much he makes of that moment. Ivanovic has been very consistent for Chelsea and should see off aerial threats, but needs to be aware of the zippy striker.
David Silva vs Ramires: Silva's best needs to come early in the game for him to have an impact — because you can't expect Ramires to tire out at the end of the game. He will keep going and going. While Silva hasn't quite impressed with goal-scoring this season, his passing is the main threat.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The EPL's best defences will clash. City have conceded 24 goals all season, while the Blues have let in 28.
- Chelsea won 10 of their first 12 EPL away games against City but have lost the last three in a row.
- Frank Lampard is aiming to score in five consecutive Premier League appearances for only the third time after 2005 and 2010. He has scored 11 goals in his 13 Premier League starts
- Chelsea have been awarded more penalties than any other side this season (8) while City have been awarded 14 since the start of last season, only Manchester United have been awarded more.
First Published On : Feb 24, 2013 13:43 IST