Manchester City - Chelsea Preview: Tevez could make return as Mancini's men chase United
A win for the home side will put them one point behind Manchester United, but the Blues have won four straight games under Roberto Di Matteo since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas
By Oliver Platt
Richards, Kolo Toure, Savic, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Barry
Silva, Aguero, Nasri
Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole
Sturridge, Mata, Ramires
Carlos Tevez could complete his surprise Premier League return on Wednesday from the substitutes' bench. The Argentine is unlikely to start though, given that he has only played in two games for the reserve team thus far.
Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta are unlikely to return in time for this fixture while Joleon Lescott has also been ruled out. Stefan Savic is set to continue alongside Kolo Toure.
Gareth Barry is also in contention for a place in the starting XI – he should be ready to play following a back injury – but faces competition for his spot in the form of Nigel de Jong and David Pizarro.
Roberto Di Matteo is likely to stick with the Chelsea side that beat Napoli 4-1 in the Champions League. Fernando Torres' two goals in the FA Cup will have put him in his manager's thoughts but Didier Drogba will probably get the nod here.
For Chesea, John Terry was ruled out on Tuesday afternoon by interim boss Roberto Di Matteo, so Gary Cahill and David Luiz are set to partner at centre-back.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City have not lost at home to Chelsea since September 2008, although they have suffered two consecutive defeats at Stamford Bridge.
- City will be looking for their 15th home league win of the season on Wednesday, which would leave them four victories away from a perfect record at the Etihad Stadium.
- Only one team, Tottenham, have scored more than one goal when visiting Manchester City in the Premier League this season, although Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon have done so in cup competitions.
- Three players – Sergio Aguero (23, pictured right), Edin Dzeko (18) and Mario Balotelli (15) – have outscored Chelsea's top goal scorer, Frank Lampard, who has 13 goals in all competitions.
- Carlos Tevez will be looking to add to an impressive City goal scoring record of his own. The 28-year-old scored 19 goals in 63 league games for Manchester United but improved dramatically on that figure upon joining City; he has scored 44 in 69 for them so far in the Premier League.
- Chelsea have won all four of their matches since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, scoring 12 goals and conceding three.
- Their current run is their first four match unbeaten run since they beat West Brom in their second fixture of the season to trigger a similar streak of victories.
- Ominously, that four match winning run ended in Manchester – the Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford.
- Fernando Torres scored twice against Leicester City in the FA Cup on Sunday to end a run of 1566 minutes without a goal for Chelsea. His last strike came against Genk in the Champions League in October.
- Torres hasn't scored in the Premier League since the end of September, when he followed up a goal against Swansea City with a red card.
|William Hill: £25 in free bets|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea FC
- 21.29 %
Manchester City 1-3 Chelsea FC
- 15.88 %
Manchester City 0-2 Chelsea FC
- 7.75 %
|FA Cup (FA)||15 Feb 2014||Manchester City 2 - Chelsea FC 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Feb 2014||Manchester City 0 - Chelsea FC 1|
|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|
|15 Mar 2014||Hull City 0 - Manchester City 2||EPL|
|12 Mar 2014||Barcelona 2 - Manchester City 1||UCL|
|9 Mar 2014||Manchester City 1 - Wigan Athletic 2||FA|
|2 Mar 2014||Manchester City 3 - Sunderland 1||CCUP|
|22 Feb 2014||Manchester City 1 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
David Silva – Manchester City have lost their grip on top spot and during the most challenging phases of a season, teams need their best players to step to the forefront. Silva is the most gifted player in the City ranks and it is vital he puts the home side on the front foot from the beginning of this encounter by leading the most prolific home attack in the Premier League.
Juan Mata – Chelsea will argue that they possess a playmaker in their ranks capable of matching the genius of David Silva. The former Valencia teammates will face off at the Etihad Stadium and while Silva has been more consistent this season, Mata has the ability to produce moments of equal brilliance. He has been moved from the left to the centre of the Chelsea attack in a position just behind Didier Drogba.
Roberto Di Matteo has put Chelsea in better spirits and they will put up a fight at the Etihad Stadium but Manchester City should have too much for them. There is a lot at stake and Roberto Mancini's team must keep cool under pressure but they should have enough attacking quality to just separate themselves from the Blues and preserve their perfect home record.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed