Competition: FA Cup: Fifth Round – Chelsea vs. Manchester City
Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, February 21 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Chelsea 17/20 – Draw 13/5 – Manchester City 3/1
The Blues suffered a midweek setback in the Champions League, losing 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in what was their first loss since Guus Hiddink stepped in as interim boss.
Chelsea have been building steadily but this is going to be a tough task for Hiddink’s side. They do have a good chance of progressing, given the fact Manchester City will have one eye on their upcoming Champions League tie and are struggling with injuries.
The current Premier League champions will want to avoid a draw at all costs as they have struggled away to City and so progressing on Sunday will be essential if they are to reach the quarterfinals.
Manchester City, as mentioned, will have an eye on their upcoming fixtures. They are still in the title race despite consecutive league losses and will also expect to progress deep into the Champions League.
They come into this one off the back of a 2-1 home loss against Spurs, one which would have been hard to stomach given that it has further dented their title ambitions.
Manuel Pellegrini will be taking this tie seriously but has already hinted that he will be resting some of his superstars.
Chelsea and Manchester City have played out some entertaining games in recent times and this could be an FA Cup classic, with both sides showing defensive frailties.
Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: W/D/D/W/L
Manchester City’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/L/L
Key Stat: Chelsea have lost their last four FA Cup clashes with Manchester City and have only once beaten them in the competition. That sole win came 101 years ago, almost to the day (February 20, 1915).
Key Player: Oscar – The Brazilian playmaker has been in good form of late and will hope to heap more misery on a Manchester City side in poor form with his attacking play here.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea 1-0 Manchester City – This is going to be a tight tie. Chelsea have been far more consistent since Hiddink’s arrival and despite their midweek loss against Paris they attacked well in stages. The FA Cup is Chelsea’s best chance of silverware this season, though it will be a tough task for them to go all the way. Manchester City’s confidence has been rocked after losing to their title rivals two weeks on the bounce at home – this is a good chance for them to pick back up and restore some confidence ahead of their upcoming fixtures. If Pellegrini does rest some of his key faces it will be a chance for the fringe players to show what they’re made of and attempt to heap more misery on Chelsea.