Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday November 25 2012
For once Roberto Mancini and his squad travel by train to a football match with the spotlight firmly off them. It's been a bizarre berserker of a week for The Chelsea Unpredictables...
'We are Manchester City and for 35 years we didn't win anything. Now in two years we won three trophies. It is clear we want to win every year if possible but this is impossible because in football only one team will win the Premier League and the Champions League. I think that we had a problem early this season. We had players injured but now we are on the top...I think we can improve. This championship will be stronger than last year because I think that also Chelsea will fight for the title. Chelsea is one of the best teams in England and Europe. To win there would be very important for us and we will need to play a good game.'
'I am not someone who is shaking hands with everyone...sometimes when you are working, you are working so hard that you don't see everything. What I can guarantee is when you come back you are more focused, you have better vision and you have more commitment. I think Chelsea is as strong as Manchester City or United. The teams at the top are very close. At Liverpool, we didn't have too much money for the squad. We had to go for the 11 starters and four or five players, and then we had to manage with the others. Here there is a little bit more depth.'
LATE FITNESS TEST:
Since his shock appointment, inevitably Rafael Benitez has been fending off questions about his erstwhile 'Scouse' talisman who has registered 11 league goals in 58 appearances following his £50 million signing close to 2 years ago. Can Benitez re-light the fire?
LATE FITNESS TEST:
El Apache is something of a Chelsea nemesis having scored six Premier League goals against them. Only Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, both with eight have scored more. Tevez is enjoying his finest season in Sky Blue. Not in goals but in team ethic and commitment. However, he's threatening to seriously add to his thumping tally of 54 goals in 91 City appearances.
The London Blues have won 6 of their last 7 home league meetings with The Manchester Blues.
The Manchester Blues have won 5 of their last 7 fixtures in all competitions against The London Blues.
Rafael Benitez is the 9th manager under the Roman Abramovich Chelsea reign which began in June 2003. Benitez is the 4th Chelsea manager Mancio has faced.
The English champions are unbeaten in their last 18 Premier League matches, which is The Citizens best top flight series since the 22 game run in 1936-37. City are the only team in England's top four divisions who have not lost in the league this season.
City have the most solid defence in the Premier League, conceding only 10 goals in this campaign.
Head To Head
League: 55 Chelsea Wins, 36 Draws, 43 City Wins
League Cup: 1 Chelsea Win, 1 City Win
FA Cup: 1 Chelsea Win, 2 City Wins
Other Cup: 2 Chelsea Wins, 1 City Win
Total: 59 Chelsea Wins, 36 Draws, 47 City Wins
This Could Be The Last Time:
Su 12Aug 2012 Chelsea 2 - 3 Man City CS
We 21Mar 2012 Man City 2 - 1 Chelsea PL
Mo 12Dec 2011 Chelsea 2 - 1 Man City PL
Su 20Mar 2011 Chelsea 2 - 0 Man City PL
Sa 25Sep 2010 Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea PL
Betting: Chelsea 6/4 Draw 5/2 City 7/4 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV Coverage: Sky Sports 1 HD and BBC Match Of The Day
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
CLASSIC CITY: Chelsea vs City 1970
C J Foy from Merseyside - Last Season: Sa 19Nov 2011 Man City 3 - 1 Newcastle, Su 08Jan 2012 Man City 2 - 3 Man Utd, Sa 14Apr 2012 Norwich 1 - 6 Man City - This Season: Sa 01Sep 2012 Man City 3 - 1 QPR - 2011/12: 35 Games, 86 Yellows, 8 Reds. -2012/2013: 13 Games, 25 Yellows, 0 Red.
Johnny On The Spot: This is a tremendously important game for City. To win it, the men in maroon require absolute focus and must ignore the circus surrounding the Spanish led Chelsea bench. A professional job is needed and an early away goal paramount. If that can be secured, any uncertainty over Rafael Benitez's temporary appointment is certain to spread around The Bridge. Midfield will be again be a key area but I'm banking on City`s physicality in that sector to prevail. As I've been banging on about all autumn, the side that defends well consistently will win the title this season. David Luiz is a loose cannon that's there to exploit and if Mancio runs with his Argentine ground attack he'll get the frustrated runaround. If Mario Balotelli starts, then I sense fireworks in that area of the battleground. So...City's combined defence and counter attacking to seal it, assuming Vincent Kompany starts. Chelsea 0 City 2
all times East Manchester
We 28 Nov 20h00 Wigan, DW Stadium, PL
Sa 01Dec 15h00 Everton, The Etihad, PL
Tu 04Dec 19h45 B Dortmund, Signal Iduna Park, CL
Su 09Dec 13h30 The rags, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15Dec 12h45 Newcastle, St James' Park, PL
Sa 22Dec 15h00 Reading, The Etihad, PL
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL
Date:Sunday November 25 2012
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