Manchester City have failed to beat Chelsea on the last ten occasions and are unlikely to win Sunday’s clash
It hasn’t taken long for Jose Mourinho to court controversy this season, with the Chelsea manager losing his rag during the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Swansea City.
The focus of his ire was the medical team entering the field of play as the game drew to a close, meaning Eden Hazard would have to be withdrawn at a crucial stage in proceedings.
Therefore, Sunday’s visitors’ bench will be missing Eva Carneiro although don’t expect her absence to affect the champions’ performance, with Chelsea likely to be bang up for a fixture in which they have fared well recently.
Two seasons ago, a Branislav Ivanovic goal was enough to separate the two teams, while Andre Schurrle struck last September only for Frank Lampard to earn Manchester City a point.
Manuel Pellegrini was critical of Chelsea’s game plan on that occasion although don’t expect any different from this match as the visitors make it imperative that they don’t lose this Super Sunday clash.
Expect City to have lots of possession just inside the Chelsea half but it could require a good deal of David Silva trickery or Yaya Toure muscle to work an opening, with Sergio Aguero expected to start in place of Wilfried Bony.
Mourinho’s men are also lightning quick on the break when given space, so we might not see Toure venture as far forward as he did at The Hawthorns on Monday when scoring twice for the Citizens.
Much has been made of City’s 3-0 win which saw them become title favourites but Tony Pulis admitted after the game that he’d tried to meet fire with fire by selecting two forwards and it left the Baggies hopelessly vulnerable as a result.
Chelsea won’t be that adventurous, with the defence keen to protect Asmir Begovic who will deputise for the suspended Thibaut Courtois after the Belgian’s appeal against last weekend’s red card fell on deaf ears.
We’re also not expecting too many goals from this contest. After all, City going into a 1-0 lead could see them retreat into their shell, with the importance of this game huge considering these teams look best equipped to enjoy a title charge.
But one thing’s for certain, Manchester City will go off too short only for their backers to see after twenty minutes that there’s a world of difference between scoring three against West Brom and one against a resolute Chelsea team.