Manchester City v Chelsea Preview: 3rd Feb 2014
Manchester City v Chelsea tonight and the hosts Manchester City chase a unique 4-timer.
Mourinho could spoil the Pellegrini party in both the Premier League and the FA Cup, but either way, you’d be happy if you had 1500/1 about Manchester City landing an unprecedented quad this season.
2013/14 Manchester City Specials
To Score 104+ Premier League Goals During 2013/14 – 4/5
To Remain Unbeaten At Home In PL During 2013/14 – 4/6
Exact number of major trophies
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is out for a month with a hamstring injury he sustained in the midweek win at Tottenham Hotspur. Midfielders Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia are also unavailable, with knee and muscle injuries respectively.
Chelsea will monitor the fitness of winger Mohamed Salah following his move from Basel. Salah missed Wednesday’s derby against West Ham along with Fernando Torres, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
Having been frustrated by West Ham’s “19th Century football”, Jose Mourinho now has to come up with a plan to counter football from another planet. Well, not quite, but football being played by “the best team on the planet”, according to Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood.
It’s a match that pitches the Premier League’s most potent attack against its tightest defence, which in itself shows the massive difference a change of coach can have on the ethos of a club.
Last season Roberto Mancini’s City were the most miserly team around, whilst the Chelsea of Di Matteo and then Benitez were the ones amassing well over a ton of goals in all competitions.
Not nearly as rapidly as Manuel Pellegrini’s City this season mind you. Now on 115 from 37 games, at their current rate of scoring they’ll blitz Chelsea’s 147 last term by mid-March!
I love Pellegrini’s seemingly simplistic approach: ‘Come on lads, it’s still 0-0’ is the sort of thing shouted regularly in Sunday morning games where one side is three or four goals up, but it’s an idea at the heart of his attacking style too. After scoring five at Spurs on Wednesday he again reiterated: “We don’t play thinking about the score”.
The injured Aguero won’t play in this or the next few games, and whilst Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and co still offer a bigger goal threat than most other clubs could pose, the absence of the brilliant Argentine might be the little difference that means a lot to Chelsea.
Another is that Mourinho knows that his Chelsea team CAN beat City following October’s meeting, and that he knows how to beat a Pellegrini side.
A different set of goalposts now perhaps, but Mourinho’s Real Madrid mastered Manuel’s Malaga in six of eight meetings over the last three seasons.
There’ll be another difference at full-time. Any winning boss won’t be jumping into the crowd at the Etihad. We’ll watch for a cursory handshake.
- Manchester City have won the last four meetings against Chelsea at the Etihad, stretching back to the 2008-09 season – Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure sealing a 2-0 win in the last of those fixtures.
- Chelsea inflicted one of four away defeats on Manchester City in the Premier League earlier this season – winning 2-1 in late October – Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres either side of Sergio Aguero’s leveller.
- Chelsea’s last ‘double’ against City came in the 2008-09 season.
- Manchester City have won eight games in a row in the league for the first time since 1946-47.
- The last time a City side won nine games in succession was in 1911-12 and 1912-13. Four at the tail end of the 1911-12 season, five at the beginning of the 1912-13 campaign.
- Edin Dzeko has scored four goals in the last five PL games for City – he has three in a row but has never scored four in a row since moving to England.
- City have scored four or more goals in 14 league and cup matches this season in domestic and European football.
- Alvaro Negredo has scored 16 goals in his last 13 competitive appearances at the Etihad Stadium.
- Chelsea had won their last five games before drawing against West Ham in midweek.
- A win would make Chelsea the first team to do the double over Manchester City in the PL since Everton in 2010-11.
- Only Manchester United and Liverpool have breached the Blues’ goal in the last seven matches (5 clean sheets)
- They have only conceded 20 goals, the best record in the Premier League at present.
- Top scorer Eden Hazard has already matched his tally of nine league goals for last season.
- Jose Mourinho’s side have won four games from losing positions, more than any other PL team so far.
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