Man City face a stiff challenge against Chelsea on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, in the Premier League, even as they try to catch up with Man United, the new table leaders.
Chelsea are gung-ho after a 5-2 thrashing of Leicester, in the FA Cup, and Mancini’s wards cannot afford to lower their guard after suffering two setbacks in the last week. The first was their being knocked out of the Europa League by Sporting FC of Portugal and the second a shock defeat to Swansea in the Premier League.
In the first leg game at Stamford Bridge, hosts Chelsea prevailed by a wafer thin 2-1 margin, after Balotelli gave his side the lead. Chelsea’s win came on the back of goals by Meireles and Lampard.
Ahead of the game, City have injury woes in the form of Pablo Zabaleta (thigh), Joleon Lescott (groin) and Vincent Kompany (calf). Gareth Barry, who is down with an illness is also out of contention. Against Chelsea, City will rely on their rampaging attack, with Aguero, the lynchpin, having got 23 goals and 8 assists in 40 games. David Silva’s creativity in midfield will be key to City’s winning aspirations. Yaya Toure will also have a huge role to play, if City are to take away full three points from the game. City’s recent woes have brought back Carlos Tevez into the reckoning.Tevez, the league’s joint top scorer last season, along with Man United’s Berbatov could finally find favour with his manager, Mancini, who at one time is thought to have resolved not to recall Tevez until hell froze over, and is now likely to have decided that the time has come.
Di Matteo’s arrival at the helm has been succeeded by four back-to-back wins by Chelsea who are snapping at Arsenal’s heels for a third place finish in the league. Lampard and Drogba who were rested for the FA Cup game are likely to feature in the game at the City of Manchester. Drogba at the helm of attack is likely to pose problems to the City defence and he will depend hugely for assistance from Juan Mata in the midfield and Sturridge on the wings. with Essien back from injury, Chelsea appear set to field their strongest eleven in a long time. Terry and Cole in defence give the side great balance, ahead of the crucial game.
Man City’s probable starting eleven: Hart, Clichy, Toure, Lescott, Richards, De Jong, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko
Chelsea’s probable starting eleven: Cech, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Ivaovic, Lampard, Essien, Ramires, Mata, Drogba, Sturridge.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.