This Sunday,Chelsea will face Manchester City at Stamford Bridge where Jose Mourinho will be looking to earn full three points at home. Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini enjoyed some great clashes in the La Liga with Real Madrid and Malaga respectively and this will be the first time both the managers will be meeting against each other in English soil.
Chelsea have bounced back strongly in the league since their defeat against Everton at Goodison Park and are currently occupying the second position, two points behind Arsenal. City on the other hand are lying in fourth in the table, just one point behind their opponent on Sunday. While City are a free scoring side, having netted 20 goals already, Chelsea have the second best defensive record in the league behind Southampton
So, it promises to be yet another cracker of a match, no doubt, but I do feel Chelsea have a slight advantage heading to this tie for mainly these four reasons.
Home Form of Chelsea
Mourinho made Stamford Bridge a fortress during his first spell in charge at Chelsea. This season, they’re yet to drop a single point at home in the league. While City also enjoy a cent per cent winning record at home but that hardly matters here. Because….
City’s away form is very poor
Out of 4 games played – 1 win, 1 draw, 2 defeats and 7 goals conceded – not the record Pellegrini would like to point out to inspire his team in the dressing room. Despite the stuttering start, the Sky Blues have hinted of returning back to form with back-to-back away victories against West Ha, and CSKA Moscow but Chelsea certainly will prove to be the toughest obstacle they faced so far away from home.
Chelsea are on a roll
Since their shock 2-1 defeat against FC Basel, they’re unbeaten in 7 games in all competitions winning six of those. Naturally, the confidence is sky high. Fernando Torres has hinted of returning back to his old best and ahead of a big match these omens are moral boosting. On the other hand, City’s match day preparations are marred by both internal and external issues. The racial chants faced by black players of City like Yaya Toure are simply execrable crimes and the talks about boycotting the World Cup etc have shifted some of the focus from this big match already.
Internally, this is a massive blow
City will be without their inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany for this tie. Pellegrini in his press conference today said – “Vincent is still injured, so he will not have a chance to play this game”. Kompany hasn’t recovered from the thigh injury he suffered during City’s 3-1 win over Everton this month. City fans were expecting some good news on his recovery but his absence could prove to be vital.
Having said all these, the basic facts remain the same – it is hard to predict the outcome of a big match. But, Chelsea have the slight advantage here.