EPL 2012-13: Manchester City vs Chelsea Preview


Manchester City vs Chelsea Preview
Manchester, Feb 22: The Premier League champions Manchester City will look to close the gap on league leaders Manchester United when they host the European Champions at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

City have not been at their best this season, slipping 12 points below rivals United. Roberto Mancini's men have not won in their last three league games including te 3-1 loss to Southampton last time out.

City could be under more pressure if United manage to win against QPR 24 hours earlier as the Red Devils will go 15 points clear at the top.

However, City's impressive home record could be daunting task for Chelsea. Only United have beaten City at home and they have won their last three home games against Chelsea.

Separated by four points, Chelsea have a better record at City, winning nine of their previous 10 visits.

Rafa Benitez's side are coming off victories against Brentford in the FA Cup and qualifying to the last-16 of the Europa League. Although nothing separates the two sides in terms of quality, Chelsea have the second best away record this season but have conceded five goals in their last three league games.

Chelsea will probably aim for second spot by beating City but it is highly unlikely to challenge for the title at this stage.

Team News

City will assess the fitness of captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Gareth Barry. The skipper has missed City's last four games due to a ankle injury. Carlos Tevez is likely to start upfront alongside Sergio Aguero after sitting out the defeat to Southampton.

Chelsea will recall Frank Lampard, Branislav Ivanovic and Ashley Cole to the starting XI. Benitez will take a decision whether or not to start with John Terry while Demba Ba will return after being cup-tied for the 1-1 draw against Sparta Praha in the Europa League.


* Manchester City have not gone four games without a win since 2009.

* Frank Lampard has scored in four consecutive league games for the Blues.

* Last season, Manchester City beat Chelsea 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Probable Lineups:

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart-Zabaleta, Lescott, Nastasic, Clichy-Y Toure, Garcia-Silva, Milner, Tevez-Aguero

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech-Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole-Lampard, Ramirez-Oscar, Mata, Hazard-Ba.

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