Chelsea - Manchester City Preview: Blues take on City in a close-season exhibition double-header
The Europa League winners face the Premier League runners-up in St Louis, Missouri, in the first of two Stateside post-season encounters before a second clash in New York
By Husmukh Kerai
Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christensen, Taylor
Moses, Oscar, Marin
Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Rodwell
Silva, Tevez, Milner
There are several notable absentees for Chelsea's trip to the United States, with John Terry (ankle) the biggest name left off the plane. Ryan Bertrand, Ross Turnbull and Oriol Romeu also stayed at home.
Youngsters Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be included as Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and Frank Lampard will take early leave to join up with Roy Hodgson's England squad.
Paulo Ferreira, Hilario, and Yossi Benayoun are all likely to make their final Chelsea appearances.
Manchester City, having recently joined forces with the New York Yankees baseball franchise to create an NYCFC MLS outfit, take all their big guns including Joe Hart, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and David Silva to St Louis.
Defender Kolo Toure (knee) and Scott Sinclair (shoulder) are likely to be the only absentees.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The last time that Chelsea and Manchester City met was in last season's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in April. City went on to the final only to lose out to a late Wigan winner.
- Carlos Tevez (pictured right) has scored six goals in his last seven Premier League games against Chelsea.
- There have been five penalties awarded in the last six league meetings between the two sides.
- Chelsea's Player of the Year Juan Mata scored 16 goals and provided 20 assists in all competitions last season.
- The Blues only finished three points behind the Premier League runners-up at the end of the season.
Chelsea are 5/2 with William Hill to win the 2013-14 Premier League.
- Chelsea also toured the US last summer, taking on AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and an MLS all-star side.
- Manchester City's partnership with the New York Yankees comes after arch-rivals United had originally setup a commercial deal back in 2001.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 2-1 Manchester City
- 21.41 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Manchester City
- 10.15 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Manchester City
- 9.7 %
|Premier League (EPL)||27 Oct 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Manchester City 1|
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||25 May 2013||Manchester City 5 - Chelsea FC 3|
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||24 May 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Manchester City 4|
|FA Cup (FA)||14 Apr 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Manchester City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||24 Feb 2013||Manchester City 2 - Chelsea FC 0|
|17 Dec 2013||Sunderland 2 - Chelsea FC 1||CCUP|
|14 Dec 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Crystal Palace 1||EPL|
|11 Dec 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Steaua Bucureşti 0||UCL|
|7 Dec 2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
The 18-year-old midfielder was named Chelsea's Young Player of the Year last season and should be given plenty of game time over the two encounters. He proved his worth in an FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough earlier in the year and has since gone from strength to strength. The Dutch youngster gave an impressive performance in the final game of the season against Everton and will be relishing the chance to do so again against Manchester City.
While City's talismanic captain Vincent Kompany has floundered at times this season, his younger Serbian partner has come of age. The 20-year-old has eased his way into the starting XI and is now one of the first names on the team sheet. With the uncertainty surrounding the manager's position at the Etihad Stadium, the former Fiorentina defender knows he will have to keep up is form throughout the off-season to remain a first-choice centre-back alongside Kompany.
These sort of exhibition games are rarely played at a high pace but with a sold out crowd in St. Louis both sets of players will want to put on a show for the American supporters. Expect an open game with plenty of considered build-up. Don't expect either side to experiment too much tactically as neither team is yet to appoint a manager for next season. Chelsea might have the edge if their younger players set out to prove a point.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed