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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V MANCHESTER CITY

Ex-Chelsea winger Clive Walker joins up with club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton for the second half of their look ahead to Sunday's Stamford Bridge fixture…

TACTICAL BRIEF
On the pitch this Sunday the story is about attempting to take three points from a title rival. Former Blue Clive Walker weighs up what might swing the game Chelsea's way.

Key battles
'This is obviously a massive match for all sorts of reasons even before the developments this week. I feel very sad for Robbie Di Matteo but that's football. He can leave with his head held high.

'Now, with Rafael Benítez as interim Chelsea manager, you have two former Inter bosses facing each other, and both have quite a few questions to answer.

'Roberto Mancini is under a little more pressure because his team have flopped again in Europe at the group stage. Long-term it might help him in the league if they finish last in the group as he won't have the Europa League games to factor in.

'I think City would take a draw before kick off and the onus will be on us, and that can be dangerous.

'City have not really kicked on from what they had last season, even the likes of Yaya Touré and Vincent Kompany, who were absolutely terrific throughout the last campaign.

'As we are finding, as champions of Europe, other teams are upping their game and asking more questions: everyone wants to beat them. Their players and their manager are under more pressure to prove themselves and there's an edge to every game that maybe wasn't there before.

'The first question Benítez has to answer is can he organise Chelsea's defence, which hasn't kept a clean sheet for 10 games and is very un-Chelsea-like; he has to do that against a City side with four top-drawer forwards too.

'I don't think anyone can doubt how much we have really missed John Terry. Without him we don't look anywhere near as organised and Benitez will see that as something he can improve on straight away.

'Next is reproducing the best from Fernando Torres, who didn't have a shot at West Brom.

'Benítez obviously had him on fire at Anfield so can they rekindle the flame at the Bridge? They certainly had a rapport before and you'd like to think he can turn Torres around.

Kompany and Torres

'Kompany was reported to have left on crutches after Man City's draw with Real Madrid on Wednesday and is an injury doubt, and from the Chelsea perspective as a forward you would always prefer to face City without their Belgian skipper.

'This is a match when the respective attacks will be on top and that's why Torres's performance will be so important. Chelsea don't quite have the resources in the striker department that Mancini does. Having Sergio Agüero, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tévez, and an effective sub like Edin Dzeko, is a luxury.

'You can see Mancini is less confident about his back line and he is criticised for not knowing his best 11. He has opted for a back three with wing-backs and I wonder if it's something he wants to move to on a permanent basis, or because he has the players to play that system.

'Maicon, for example, is an attacking full-back, not a defensive one. Kolarov too. It should make sense. I'm not certain the centre-backs are convinced, even if Mancini seems to be.

'That was the system that Juventus used to unpick Chelsea but do City have the same smooth-running operation that allows Pirlo and Vidal to thrive?

'Changing formations can create problems and confusion. You saw that on the Real goal, where City easily outnumbered Madrid's two in the box but Benzema still had a free touch to score their goal.

'Chelsea need to be taking exactly those same kind of chances when they are offered. Had Eden Hazard finished in Turin after Oscar's lovely run we might have had a totally different scenario unfold.

'Top clubs, whichever player it is, put away chances at the right times when the opportunity arises. We're not doing it; a lot of clubs are not doing it either. We have to be a lot more ruthless.

'One warning from midweek is that David Silva seems to be coming into form. He is a world-class player, one of those who pops up in gaps and spaces. Sometimes he drifts out of the fray if you stop the supply to him, and that's something we have to try to do.'

Squad fitness news
Frank Lampard (calf), John Terry (knee) and Daniel Sturridge (hamstring) are the three Chelsea players ruled out through injury.

Man City have to make decisions on Mario Balotelli (back), Gael Clichy (ankle) and Vincent Kompany (knee). Jack Rodwell (hamstring) and Micah Richards (knee) are out.


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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V MANCHESTER CITY

CHELSEA STATS
Chelsea have used 19 players in the Barclays Premier League this term, fewer than any other club.

The Blues are 10 points better off after 12 games compared to the corresponding games last season.

Liverpool was the eighth occasion we opened the scoring in a Premier League game this term and the second game in succession we didn't go onto win the game.

Chelsea have won just two points from the last 12 available.

Although we haven't kept a clean sheet in seven Premier League matches (10 in all games), only Norwich, Stoke and West Ham (five) have kept more than Chelsea's four.

We have won 18 of our 25 matches at Stamford Bridge in 2012. The two defeats were against Newcastle and Man Utd.


Last six results
Oct 31 Manchester United (League Cup h) W 5-4 aet
Nov 3 Swansea (a) D 1-1
Nov 7 Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League h) W 3-2
Nov 11 Liverpool (h) D 1-1
Nov 17 West Brom (a) L 1-2
Nov 20 Juventus (Champions League a) L 0-3

 

Premier League scorers
Mata 4, Torres 4, Hazard 3 (1 pen), Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Cahill 2, Cole 1, Moses 1, Ramires 1, Sturridge 1, Terry 1. Total 24


League games since
A home win: 2
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 1


Chelsea's next three games
Wed 28 Nov Fulham home 7.45pm
Sat 1 Dec West Ham away 12.45pm
Wed 5 Dec Nordsjaelland (Champions League) home 7.45pm

 

MILESTONES
We need two more goals for the half century for the season. Today is our 22nd match.


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 are unbeaten in 18 Premier League games. Their last defeat was at the Emirates against Arsenal on 8 April.

West Ham are the only team Manchester City have failed to score against this term.

City have gained 14 points from losing positions which is the second best record in the Premier League. Seventy per cent of their goals have come in the last half an hour.

They have won nine points from a possible 15 on the road winning at Fulham and West Brom and draws with Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham.

Joe Hart and Yaya Touré are the only players to have started all 12 Premier League games this season.


Manager Roberto Mancini
Days in charge: 1,071
Played 160
Won 94
Drawn 33
Lost 33


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


Last six results
Oct 27 Swansea (h) W 1-0
Nov 3 West Ham (a) D 0-0
Nov 6 Ajax (Champions League h) D 2-2
Nov 11 Tottenham (h) W 2-1
Nov 17 Aston Villa (h) W 5-0
Nov 21 Real Madrid (Champions League h) D 1-1

 

Premier League scorers
Džeko 6, Tévez 6 (1 pen), Agüero 5 (1 pen), Y Touré 2, Garcia 1, Kolarov 1, Lescott 1, Milner 1, Nasri 1, Silva 1. Total 25

PMB

 


League games since
An away win: 1
An away draw: 0
An away defeat: 8


CITY'S MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins
Javi Garcia (Benfica, £16m), Jack Rodwell (Everton, £12m), Scott Sinclair (Swansea, £6.2m), Maicon (Inter Milan, £3m), Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina, £12m), Richard Wright (unattached)
Outs Adam Johnson (Sunderland, £10m), Nigel De Jong (AC Milan, £3.5m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham, £5m), Stefan Savic (Fiorentina, undisclosed), Vladimir Weiss (Pescara, £1.32m), Wayne Bridge (Brighton, loan), Stuart Taylor (released, now Reading), Owen Hargreaves (released), Dedryck Boyata (Twente, loan), Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, loan)


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Chris Foy is the official for his first Chelsea game in over a year, since our defeat at QPR 13 months ago. Chelsea have enjoyed a 71% success rate in games with him charge.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
There are no suspensions.
David Luiz and Ramires are one yellow card away from a one-match domestic suspension. They have both accrued four bookings.

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