EPL 2012-13: Manchester City vs Chelsea Predictions

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Manchester, Feb 23: Manchester City and Chelsea will be eager to claim three points as the Premier League champions look to close the gap on league leaders Manchester United while the European Champions aim to seal a Champions League spot and move to second place in the league standings.

The reigning champions City have not repeated last year's heroics, still 12 points below their rivals United. But Roberto Mancini's is side will be under more pressure if United get all three points against QPR on Saturday, taking their lead to 15 points.

Manchester City vs Chelsea Predictions

City have not been in great form lately failing to win in three league games which included a 3-1 loss to Southampton and a draw against Premier League strugglers QPR. The defeat was only the seventh time they conceded three goals in a Premier League match under Mancini. However, they still have the leagues best defensive record and 11 clean sheets.

Meanwhile, Mancini's side had more time to prepare for this clash while Chelsea had a tough test against Sparta Praha in the Europa League. Rafa Benitez will bank on wins against Brentford and qualification in the round of 16 in the Europa League.

Chelsea have won 10 of their last 15 league visits to City but have lost their last five trips and the Sky Blues have won five of their last eight games against Chelsea in all competitions.

Rafa Benitez's side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five league games, an indication that they are missing their talisman and captain John Terry.

Both teams do not have major injury concerns but miss key figures at the back. Terry is unlikely to start for Chelsea while City captain Vincent Kompany could miss a fifth successive game with a calf injury.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea

Match stats:

* Chelsea have been awarded eight penalties this season, nore than any other side.

* Frank Lampard has scored 199 goals for Chelsea, three shot of Bobby Tambling's club record tally.

* Manchester City have kept 11 clean sheets, more than any other side.

* Carlos Tevez has failed to score in his last eight league appearances.

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