PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V MANCHESTER CITY - PART TWO
Chelsea's home game against Manchester City closes this weekend's fixtures and a day ahead of the game, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their look ahead to the game…
WE HAVE HISTORY
Manchester City have scored in just two of their last 11 matches at Stamford Bridge and won two top-flight league games at Stamford Bridge in 21 attempts over 35 years.
However, they have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the clubs since December 2009, and won four and drawn one of the last five games in all competitions since we won at Stamford Bridge in December 2011.
One of the last matches at Stamford Bridge before the arrival of Roman Abramovich in summer 2003 was the visit of Kevin Keegan's Manchester City on 22 March. The hosts lay in fourth place following back-to-back defeats a week earlier but a 2-0 win at West Brom restored confidence in a top-four finish and a chance to qualify for the Champions League.
Bottom-half City harboured few such ambitions but had plenty of experience in the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Robbie Fowler and Shaun Goater, although Steve Howey had refused to travel once he was informed he would do so as a substitute.
The visitors held out for 36 minutes, at which point Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink reached Gianfranco Zola's teasing near-post cross ahead of Sylvain Distin and prodded past Schmeichel.
Five minutes later it was 2-0, John Terry jumping unimpeded by markers to meet Graeme Le Saux's corner with an emphatic header from close range.
The tide mostly flowed the same way after the break, although Niclas Jensen might have restored City's interest when he shot wide of an open goal. Soon the Pensioners were in total control when Terry flicked on Hasselbaink's corner for Mario Stanic to sweep into the net.
Frank Lampard made it four after neat interplay with Joe Cole left Schmeichel stranded and with 10 minutes remaining William Gallas completed the rout, tapping in Lampard's cross. Sun Jihai's late second yellow finished off a wonderful afternoon for the home crowd.
Chelsea ended the 2002/03 season in a Champions League qualifying place; City finished ninth.
Our last 10 league meetings at Stamford Bridge
2003/04 - Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 - Drew 0-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 2-0
2006/07 - Chelsea won 3-0
2007/08 - Chelsea won 6-0
2008/09 - Chelsea won 1-0
2009/10 - Man City won 4-2
2010/11 - Chelsea won 2-0
2011/12 - Chelsea won 2-1
2012/13 - Drew 0-0
Other matches last season
12 August 2012 FA Community Shield, Villa Park
Man City……..….…3 Chelsea………..……2
Y Toure 52 Torres 39
Tevez 58 Bertrand 79
24 February 2013 Barclays Premier League
Man City……..…..…2 Chelsea………..……0
Y Toure 62
14 April 2013 FA Cup semi-final, Wembley
Man City……..…..…2 Chelsea………..……1
Nasri 34 Ba 66
Chelsea v Manchester City in all competitions
Games played 147
Chelsea wins 61
City wins 49
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 68
Chelsea wins 34
City wins 13
Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
27/10/2007 - Chelsea 6-0 Manchester City
16/09/1978 - Chelsea 1-4 Manchester City
Chelsea dropped points at Stamford Bridge: 172
Man City had a score draw in the Premier League: 266
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,081
Liverpool won the league: 8,576
The second meanest defence in the Barclays Premier League, Chelsea's, faces top scorers Manchester City on Sunday. Both clubs are in their hottest form of the season so far.
The Pensioners' attack may find opportunities against a shaky City rearguard but the defence will face a far sterner test than against Schalke. The visitors' attacking resources are among the best and most creative in Europe.
There might be a case for the pace, drive and anticipation of David Luiz ahead of Gary Cahill, especially if the Brazilian has learned from his Cardiff error. He also knows how to score against Mancunians.
In Germany midweek, Ryan Bertrand remained on the bench as Cesar Azpilicueta, a right-footer, was rewarded for his bright cameo against the Welsh with a start in place of injured Ashley Cole. With Cole now fit, the most senior of the full-backs is expected to return.
Mourinho has the luxury of in-form strikers. With Demba Ba likely perhaps to start at Arsenal on Tuesday, the choice is probably between Fernando Torres, in his finest form for Chelsea, and Samuel Eto'o, who opened his account last weekend. Ba has scored against City for three different sides but lost on each occasion.
Offensively City have also been very efficient, offering a threat from all over the pitch, with the Argentinean Pablo Zabaleta sometimes approaching his form of two season ago.
They have not been so expert protecting the lead this season with individual lapses proving costly. Joe Hart does not present the impenetrable barrier of two seasons back, shipping nine in his last five matches.
The defensive frailties of the last 15 months haunted them again on Wednesday and they were fortunate to leave Moscow with all three points. For a tall team they can be aerially suspect and have conceded a lot of set-piece goals - two alone against Cardiff - but they also score from them.
It was an impressive victory for Man City at West Ham last weekend, especially following an international break. But it was only their fourth in their last 12 away top-flight games. They have twice lost 3-2 on the road and this is the third of four consecutive away trips for the Mancunians.
They cannot really blame the absence of injured Vincent Kompany for their struggles. Although none of his rivals for the centre-back role displays quite the same level of passing, positioning and professionalism, City have actually fared marginally better in games without their usual skipper this season.
In 283 minutes with him on the pitch the Citizens have conceded five goals in four Premier League games; over the 436 minutes he has been sidelined with groin injuries they have conceded one fewer. Kompany is again ruled out.
The least convincing replacement has been Javier Garcia, who in their 2-3 defeat at Cardiff and again in Moscow, struggled with the switch from his regular midfield role. He was dropped for the Everton game, with the more often benched Joleon Lescott stepping in.
Another experienced centre-back, Martín Demichelis, 32, has been on the treatment table since reuniting with Pellegrini, his former boss at Malaga and River Plate. Some reports suggest he could be available for Sunday.
At Upton Park right-back Micah Richards made his first start in place of Zabaleta since the disastrous 1-3 home defeat by Bayern but Aleksandar Kolarov - who played further forward against the Hammers - could revert.
Striker Edin Dzeko is another who has not seen much action since the successive defeats to Aston Villa and the European champions, but he offers attacking variation with his height and power.
More recently Pellegrini's preferred forward set-up has been Sergio Aguero tucked in behind Alvaro Negredo. Aguero made it seven goals in four games on Wednesday and the pair again linked cleverly.
Whether City have the same tenacious defensive midfield screen as when Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong were available is debatable. In Gelsenkirchen Chelsea displayed just the kind of efficient counter attacking that can test Pellegrini's side, with Eden Hazard and Oscar in scintillating form.
The 4-4-1-1 formation Pellegrini has settled on (one he used successfully at Villarreal) might mean his side are outnumbered in midfield against some teams and they rely heavily on the powerful, mobile presence of asymmetrical centre midfield pair Yaya Toure and Fernandinho to handle that.
Toure on off days can allow the better teams to overwhelm City's rearguard, but at his best he trundles upfield like a wrecking ball. His Brazilian partner is more urgent, presses high up the field and has conceded the most fouls in his team. Fernandinho and Willian were goalscoring teammates for Shakhtar against Chelsea in last season's Europa League.
A key facet of City's strategy is to maintain possession in their opponents' half, building pressure and providing opportunities for the characteristic short through-passes that unlock defences.
Main exponents of those touches, David Silva and Samir Nasri, generally fill the two wide berths either side of Aguero while Jesus Navas is more of an orthodox winger. James Milner and Jack Rodwell are other options when a more hardworking and defence-aware presence is required.
Meanwhile, Petr Cech quietly reasserted his claim to be the world's best goalie in Gelsenkirchen and makes his 301st Premier League appearance on Sunday, his 445th overall (see Milestones in the Stats Corner).
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