Today’s match for Chelsea FC at Manchester City will be the biggest test of the season so far for Jose Mourinho and his Blues. Chelsea faces the most prolific goal scoring team in the Premiership and they have been unstoppable at home. The best defensive record in the league will be challenged as Chelsea heads in to the lion’s den known as the Etihad. The Blues struck a somewhat fortunate blow to City with a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture but that was a result of a huge blunder by Joe Hart. Hart has been in fine form since he regained his starting position and will look for redemption against the London side.
Coming off a goalless draw against West Ham United, Chelsea must find their goal-scoring boots but they must also be mentally tough enough to withstand the pressure City will put on them. Mourinho will likely opt for a more defensive approach and look to score on the counter. For that reason he will employ willing runners like Ramires and Willian in midfield to try and catch City off the pace. Even with both Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri missing through injury City are still favored to attack and score goals in bunches. The key to this game will be matching the physicality of Yaya Toure with our own midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic. Toure is always a threat to score from open play but his ability to score from free kicks and set pieces make him that much more dangerous.
Chelsea are missing striker Fernando Torres through injury so Samuel Eto’o will surely be getting the start. New signing Mohamed Salah is also available and he may be brought on late on in the match if Chelsea need to chase the game. Salah has blistering pace and his ability to run in behind defenders is a big reason why he was brought to West London. If Chelsea can secure a draw it would be a job well done but stealing three points at the Etihad would be a dream come true.
Pre-match stats and notes:
- This match features the two most expensive sides, in terms of transfer fees, in English football history with a total of £493.5 million.
- Chelsea have lost the last four meetings with Manchester City at the Etihad.
- Chelsea last won both EPL matches or the “double” against Manchester City in 2008.
- Chelsea have won four games from losing positions, more than any other PL team so far.
- Manchester City have won eight games in a row in the league for the first time since 1946-47.
- Chelsea won their last five games before drawing against West Ham on Wednesday.
Match Prediction: 2-2
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