Competition: Premier League
Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, January 31 – 17:30
Match Odds: Chelsea 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Manchester City 13/5
The Premier League resumes after last weekends FA Cup fourth round, a weekend the top two will want to forget. This is the biggest fixture of the season so far for Chelsea and Manchester City and it could be pivotal in the race for the title.Embed from Getty Images
Five points separate the sides going into the game and Chelsea could once again open up that vital eight point lead at the top of the table with a victory in front of their own fans.
We can expect a fiery and cagey tie as neither side will want to lose the upper hand.
Chelsea’s home record in the Premier League: Played 10 – Won 10 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0
Chelsea retain their fortress status in the Premier League at home this season and have that form to thank for still being at the head of the table. But last weekend showed they are capable of throwing games away at Stamford Bridge as they lost 4-2 to Bradford City, despite taking a two goal lead.
The Blues could once again be without top scorer Diego Costa as he is facing a ban after being charged for stamping on Emre Can in their midweek League Cup tie against Liverpool. They will definitely miss him if he cannot play.Embed from Getty Images
Manuel Pellegrini will have his men prepared to the maximum for this tie and they need to bounce back after their shock 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
We recall the drama of the return fixture where Chelsea legend Frank Lampard came off the bench to grab a share of the spoils for City in that 1-1 draw.
Manchester City’s away record in the Premier League: Played 11 – Won 7 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1
City’s away record hasn’t been too bad but they will have to win almost every game from now till the end of the season to maintain that pressure in the hope of Chelsea slip-ups as this is the last meeting between the sides and the pressure is on City in that sense.Embed from Getty Images
They will be without Yaya Toure and new-boy Wilfried Bony who are both still on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations.
A 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal in the last league game was not good enough from City and they must prove why they are the reigning champions against Chelsea on Saturday night if they are to stand a chance of retaining their title.
Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/W/W
Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/D/L
Key Stat: Chelsea have not conceded a league goal at Stamford Bridge for five games in a spell that spans back to early November.
Key Player: Thibaut Courtois – the Chelsea keeper must be at his best as City will be looking for a smash and grab victory.
Chelsea vs. Man City Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City – the game is the most important of the season and City will have to throw everything at it to win, which they are more than capable of doing.