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Chelsea v Man City - A Battle Of Wits

George sent Vital Manchester City the following:

This is a biggie. And not just for the team that fell apart when Raymondo left and then bought El Nino to try and stop the rot - or the team that will, like it or not, buy the Premier League fairly soon. Just like Chelsea.

Anything other than a draw effectively ends the losing team's push for a slim chance at the title. Which will mean a lot more to Chelsea - I think it's fair to say fourth is City's overriding requirement this season. Whatever the end result, and even if you're a neutral, this is one of the most intriguing fixtures of the season. Here's why...

Nobody really knows what's going on at either club. Both have shown contradictions, major flaws, flappability and fallibility in spades at times. For a spell, I honestly thought Chelsea were going into some hitherto un-witnessed freefall. And it could be the inherent nerves that are part of the City faithful's DNA, but there's still a whiff of 'we'll probably screw this up' in some of our performances. Bottom line is, nobody can predict how either side will play this one. Both are, at present, unknown quantities. At times unbalanced, lethargic or nervy. At others assured, fluid and unplayable.

So I think it's going to fall to the team that first manages to convince the other - rightly or wrongly - that they're more in control. That their troubles are over, they deserve it more and all they can smell now is the blood further up the table.

City, for my money, have been hugely impressive at the back of late. Against Aris and Villa they were un-phased at close quarters, quick-firing tight passes with conviction, simply rolling the ball around midfield, then unleashing the pace and incisive deliveries that were, well… average.

It's odd, I think the scoreline flattered us a bit, yet the finishing was disappointing at times. Like Chelsea, we have too many options up front, and things are still yet to gel, which is nonetheless promising for both clubs' future success. Torres is rattling around, looking for where he's supposed to fit in. He will, sure, but he hasn't yet, and I'm not sure anyone's offered him any sensible suggestions.

Likewise with Balotelli and Dzeko. I'm not sure Balotelli will ever really fit in unless he has a personality transplant, but that's just me. If he scores goals, I guess it doesn't really matter. For City, it's a case of who's going to stick around for next season, and based on that, what the most effective delivery and strike partnerships are. And the most consistent.

Our performance against Wigan would have been acceptable two seasons ago. Today it just isn't, even if three points is all that ultimately matters.

Neither side can boast consistency, so it's really hard to call which way it's going to go, if any. Or by what margin. Even the tacticians would agree, either side could end up thumping t'other, or it could be a cagey 0-0. I don't think it'll be boring, that's for sure.

Famous last words, maybe, but there's too much at stake. If I have to call it then based on a) being a City fan, and b) Chelsea having evolutionary problems for once worse than our own, I reckon we might win this comfortably - à la February 2010 when I nearly crashed the car while listening to it on the radio.

I'd bet on it more now than I would have done then, put it that way.



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The journalist

Writer: George Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 9 2011

Time: 8:01PM

Your Comments

my £10 says you'll not win, let alone comfortably!
Merlin
I know we've played woefully and lost a lot to you guys recently but I'm extrememely confident City will be schooled at the Bridge this time. Carefree.
Blue in Colorado
Man City to win comfortably, are you crazy. You will come and play 10 defenders and Torres will score the winner.
Seanytrueblue
Lol are there any Man City fans on man city vital ??
unknown2022
can't quite understand why this article has popped up when there are 3 games between now and the 20th to navigate first
arthur7171
@Seanytrueblue Remind me of the last three results between our oil rich teams?
StuMCFC
And you make parking the bus sound so dirty when your very team mastered it at times under Mourinho. How soon people forget, much like the Chelsea fans outraged at us trying to "buy success". ;)
StuMCFC
All that money and it looks like you will finish below us even though we endured our worst run of results for two decades!
Seanytrueblue
We have won the last three leauge encounters and I can see no reason why we will not repeat last years result at the Bridge. I am super confident for a win.
johnkelv
the only reason Cit£h fans are upset and saying we will buy the title, is because they spend more money than us and can't even finish fourth.
Mceachran
Well, we weren't as equipped as Chel$ea (see what I did there!? "Ha ha!") were before they got their rich sugar daddy. We were battling relegation, they were battling for Champions League spots so obviously we had a lot more work to do, beginning with tearing the entire infrastructure of the club out and remaking it. But such things will not be considered. @Seanytrueblue If we do finish below you, perhaps the difference might be Chelsea spending more than any other team in history has in a single day this January? That's if Torres stops playing like a Blue Square Conference Player. Luiz looks like a fine signing though.
StuMCFC
To be fair carlo struggles with mancini and jose's tactics..he's yet to prove to me that he can do it. He can beat fergie easy enough but there's a mental block with those two. No time like the present. Remember the 1st 'clash of the cash' on setanta? Robiniho scored tht free kick but we went onto win? Bon temps
mrmobb
Every series eventually ends overconfident City fans... Just look at our own long lasting series of winning vs Spuds and more recently vs Le Arse.... Your series of good results against us ends this April at the bridge. Carefree...
zolastic
Well you would seem to have your best chance in a while, if for no other reason than we have three games in the next 7 days while Chelsea have one, which takes place a day before our final game.
StuMCFC
I think you will beat us.You guys know how to play us simple as that.I've always respected City and it's fans and I reckon you guys will win the league next year.I'd much rather see you guys win it than United or Arsenal.You guys deserve a title after all you've been through.It would be great to see Chelsea and City battle it out for the title instead of Manure.
BlueBlaze
 

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