Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday February 22 2013
The Etihad Stadium
Doomed Manchester City (copyright all hacks) and their doomed, foul mouthed manager welcome the definitely doomed Chelsea manager and his not yet quite doomed squad for a humdinger...
'It's difficult to win all 12 games in a row in the Premier League but we will try. Our target is to win the Premier League, not to finish second. We want to try to win trophies. Sometimes it's not possible, but it's important our team is always there on the top and fights for the title. Sometimes we can do a mistake or sometimes the other team could be better than us. This is possible...In my opinion Chelsea are a fantastic team and Benitez is a good manager. When you start this job you know it's the same every year - if you win you are the best, if you lose you are not. I have sympathy for every manager.'
'We have a lot of respect because City are a great team. But we have to go there with confidence and if we are close I think that we can fight for being in the top two, and if not we have to fight for being in the top four. The priority is to win. If we win this game we will be closer but if we cannot we have to keep fighting. What I can see now is a team with confidence, we are confident we can beat City or anyone if we do things in the right way. We are creating chances in every game so I'm confident we can do it. The race for the top four will go on until the end of the season.'
'If we get a positive result on Sunday then that opens it right back up. We're taking it one game at a time but we'll be looking to do that on Sunday. It'll be tough game away from home, but if we do get a positive result then obviously second place is within touching distance.'
'Chelsea are a great team. They've won the Champions League for a reason and even if they were eliminated from that tournament and haven't had as good as season as they might have expected in the League, they are still a great team with many fantastic players - but so are we…we are even stronger at The Etihad so while I hope it's a good match, it goes without saying I hope it goes our way. Can we still win the title? We can't give up even though it looks tough. I'd still rather think we can and, like I said last year,
we'll fight till the end, I can guarantee that.'
LATE FITNESS TEST:
City from: Hart, Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Nastasic, K Touré, Clichy, Kolarov, Milner, Sinclair, Nasri, Barry, Y Touré, Garcia, Rodwell, Silva, Tévez, Aguero, Dzeko.
This game has classic potential and could yet develop into the battle of the Spanish midfield lock pickers. You won't read it anywhere amidst the media's continuing tidal wave of ant-City sentiment but David Silva has been in terrific form of late. Cahill and Terry will have to be on their toes.
Chelsea from: Cech, Turnbull, Hilario, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Cole, Bertrand, Luiz, Cahill, Terry, Ake, Oscar, Mata, Moses, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Hazard, Marin, Benayoun, Torres, Ba.
Mata is a fine player and a more than capable match winner. He should expect some strong attention from the likes of Yaya Touré and Javi Garcia who will need to be wise to his cunning plans in the absence of Gareth Barry.
THE NUMBERS GAME:
The Citizens have the Premier League's best defensive record including 11 clean sheets.
Did you know City lost 3-1 at Southampton? Under Mancio, The Manchester Blues have only conceded 3 goals on 7 league occasions.
Chelsea nemesis Carlos Tévez has failed to score in his last 8 league starts.
Chelsea have earned 25 points from 14 league games under Benitez's leadership.
HEAD TO HEAD:
League: 55 Chelsea Wins, 37 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, 37 Draws, 47 City Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Su 25Nov 2012 Chelsea 0 - Man City 0 PL
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
FORM LAST 6 GAMES ALL COMPETITIONS:
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
CLASSIC CITY TUBE: Manchester City v Chelsea, Oct 10th 1966
mcfcvideos: ' Manchester City, back in the first division after three seasons away, facing top of the table Chelsea in October 1966. Look out for a scrap involving Mike Summerbee and Eddie McCreadie and a friendly salute for the Kippax from Peter Osgood. This was the first edition of Match of the Day to come from Maine Road...'
BETTING: City 10/11 Draw 13/5 Chelsea 3 Racing Post Soccerbase
TV COVERAGE: Sky Sports 1 uk / 1HD & BBC MOTD2
A Marriner from the West Midlands - 4th Official M Jones -Last Season: Mo 30Apr 2012 Man City 1 - 0 Man Utd -This Season: Su 26Aug 2012 Liverpool 2 - 2 Man City, Sa 15Dec 2012, Newcastle 1 - 3 Man City -2011/12: 28 Games, 92 Yellows, 5 Reds -2012/2013: 26 Games, 75 Yellows, No Reds.
Johnny On The Spot: With so much at stake this game is bordering on too close to call. Two sides more than capable of devastating the opposition go head to head in what's being billed by rag arslikhan fuelled vulture hacks desperate to see Roberto Mancini sacked as the battle for second place. Three factors will swing this one in City's favour for me. Home advantage primarily. Secondly, the fact that Chelsea come into this after experiencing the Thursday night Europa League drag curve. Above all else, this will be The Pensioners 15th game since the turn of the year. It will be City's 10th. City 2 Chelsea 1
all times East Manchester
Mo 04Mar 20h00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Sa 09Mar 17h30 Barnsley, The Etihad, FACQF
Sa 16Mar 12h45 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 30Mar 15h00 Newcastle, The Etihad, PL
Mo 08Apr 20h00 The Rags, The Swamp, PL
Mo 15 Apr 20h00 West Brom, The Etihad, PL
Su 21 Apr 13h30 Spurs, White Hart Lane, PL
Sa 27 Apr 12h45 West Ham United, The Etihad, PL
Sa 04 May 15h00 Swansea, The Liberty Stadium, PL
Su 12 May 15h00 Reading, The Madejski Stadium, PL
Su 19 May 16h00 Norwich City, The Etihad, PL
City vs Wigan To Be Rearranged
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