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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MANCHESTER CITY V CHELSEA

TACTICAL BRIEF
Chelsea have had no joy on this particular hunting ground for five years. Former Blue Clive Walker considers where Sunday's game may be won or lost.

Key battles
'Would a draw be a bad result, given the closeness of Tottenham and Arsenal in the race for top four places? In the grander scheme of things a point at the home of the champions would be perfectly acceptable. However if we want second spot a win should be firmly in our minds.

'Chelsea won it back to back titles in 2004-2006 and if you ask our players they might well say the second one was the more satisfying.

'City have found it tougher. They've not done well in Europe. They've had injuries - Vincent Kompany is such a crucial player and he's been missing during the bad little run they had. When big players are missing it's an indicator of strength in depth.

'But you saw a glimpse last week against Leeds, that ruthless streak they had last season. They still have that with the likes of Toure, Agüero, Tevez, Silva, Dzeko. Even with great players confidence is a massive factor and not having it can rock you.

'Chelsea showed again on Thursday that we can susceptible to the attacking midfielders, the second strikers. We will be looking to limit opportunities against City because they have clever and awkward individuals who ghost into dangerous areas or run from deep.

'Problems can come from a lot more players than with other sides, even Man United. So defensively we really have to have a good day or their quality players could punish us.

'A big area for Chelsea is defensive midfield, which has to work hard and stay concentrated. In defence, if John Terry is selected then it will be his biggest test since returning from injury. We need him to have the impact Frank Lampard did when was back to fitness. Terry can be a force at both ends of the pitch.

'Chelsea have threats City will worry about too. They have full-backs who are better going forward than defending, leaving gaps that the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Victor Moses could exploit. That concern could help pin those City players back and reduce their attacking threat. Of course, Hazard will be cock-a-hoop after his terrific goal on Thursday. This game will be all about the attacking three on either side.

Hazard Chelsea

'Kompany would be a miss for City if he's not available again. We know the boys will have opportunities and the chances need to be taken. The other night we had something like 22 shots, six on target so we need to be more clinical today.

'The last few games have shown we have players on the bench who can have an impact. We were better second half against Prague but we needed to pull out the choke a bit and that's what Hazard and others can give you, which is for the good of the team.'

Squad fitness news
Oriol Romeu (knee) is the only player ruled out for Chelsea. For Man City, Vincent Kompany's calf injury makes him a doubt.Gareth Barry (ankle) faces a fitness test and Micah Richards (knee) is out.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: MANCHESTER CITY V CHELSEA

CHELSEA STATS
The Blues have only been beaten once (at Newcastle) in 11 away games in all competitions (seven wins, three draws), since our defeat at West Ham on 1 December.

Of the 17 occasions Chelsea have opened the scoring in the Barclays Premier League, we have gone on to win 12 games and draw four. Only West Ham have defeated us.

Chelsea have the Premier League's second best scoring and defensive records this term.

The Blues are eight points better off compared to the corresponding 26 fixtures last season.

We have gained 12 points from losing positions this term.

We have dropped 14 points from winning positions

Frank Lampard has scored 11 goals in 13 Premier League starts this term.

Last six results
Jan 30 Reading (a) D 2-2
Feb 2 Newcastle (a) L 2-3
Feb 9 Wigan (h) W 4-1
Feb 14 Sparta Prague (Europa League a) W 1-0
Feb 17 Brentford (FA Cup h) W 4-0
Feb 21 Sparta Prague (Europa League h) D 1-1

 

Premier League scorers
Lampard 11 (4 pens), Mata 10, E Hazard 7 (1 pen), Torres 7 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Ramires 4, Cahill 2, Ba 1, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Marin 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1 (pen), Sturridge 1, Terry 1, own goals (Walters, Stoke) 2. Total 55.

League games since
An away win: 2
An away draw: 1
An away defeat: 0

 

Chelsea's next three games
Wed 27 Feb Middlesbrough (FA Cup 5) away 7.45pm
Sat 2 Mar West Brom home 3pm
Thu 7 Mar  Steaua Bucharest (Europa Lge rd of 16) away 6pm UK time

 

MILESTONES
Frank Lampard needs one goal to reach 200 goals for Chelsea and three to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling.

If selected, Ashley Cole will make his 300th appearance for Chelsea and Juan Mata his 50th Premier League start.

MAN CITY STATS
Formed
1887

Major trophies
3 League championships, last in 2012
5 FA Cups, last in 2011
2 League Cups, last in 1976
4 FA Charity/Community Shields, last in 2012
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1970


Man City have the tightest defence in the Premier League this term conceding 24 goals in 26 games.

They have not lost any of the 14 matches they have opened the scoring, winning 12 of them.

City have gained 16 points from losing positions this term.

Since December 2010, City have only dropped 13 points at the Etihad from the last 126 available. Their one defeat was against Manchester United in December.

At home this term they have won 30 points from a possible 39 with nine wins against Southampton, QPR, Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Reading, Stoke and Fulham, three draws against Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool and the one defeat to Man United.

It is 92 games since City last lost consecutive Premier League games


Manager Roberto Mancini
Days in charge: 1,162
Played 178
Won 104
Drawn 37
Lost 37

 

City's last 10 year league history
Pts Pos
2002/03 51 9th
2003/04 41 16th
2004/05 52 8th
2005/06 43 15th
2006/07 42 14th
2007/08 55 9th
2008/09 50 10th
2009/10 67 5th
2010/11 71 3rd
2011/12 89 1st


 

PMB

 

 

Last six results
Jan 19 Fulham (h) W 2-0
Jan 26 Stoke (FA Cup a) W 1-0
Jan 29 QPR (a) D 0-0
Feb 3 Liverpool (h) D 2-2
Feb 9 Southampton (a) L 1-3
Feb 17 Leeds (FA Cup h) W 4-0


 

2012/13 Premier League scorers
Džeko 12, Agüero 9 (2 pens), Tévez 7 (2 pens), Y Touré 4, Milner 3, Silva 3, Javi Garcia 2, Zabaleta 2, Balotelli 1, Barry 1, Kolarov 1, Lescott 1, Nasri 1, own goals 1. Total 48


League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 4


WINDOW WATCH
Man City's completed January transfers
Ins None
Outs Mario Balotelli (AC Milan, undisclosed)


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Andre Marriner is refereeing his fourth Blues match this season, having previously been the official at Stoke, Leeds in the League Cup and against QPR at Loftus Road.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.

David Luiz is two bookings away from a two-match domestic ban.

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