Chelsea vs Manchester City: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to the top-of-the-table clash at Stamford Bridge

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The Independent Football

Chelsea head into this hotly-anticipated match with a five-point buffer over Manchester City, but know they are without their most influential player in the form of leading goalscorer Diego Costa.

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The Blues progressed to the Capital One Cup final courtesy of the 1-0 win over Liverpool in the second-leg last Tuesday, but the victory came at the expense of losing Costa for three games after he was suspended for stamping on Emre Can. With the Blues also harbouring injury concerns over Cesc Fabregas and Ramires, the match could prove to be a pivotal turning point come the end of the season.

City will hope that they can put their recent disappointments behind them after a run of three games without a win, with the 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough giving Manuel Pellegrini cause for concern. The only comfort for the Chilean is that while his side lacked any impetus against Boro, Chelsea suffered a complete collapse as they lost 4-2 to Bradford to exit the Cup at the same stage.

 

However, City’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal will also be fresh in the mind, and they’ll look to have Sergio Aguero firing on all cylinders with the Argentinian yet to rediscover his best since returning from injury.

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Frank Lampard and his non-celebration

The match will also see Frank Lampard make his return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving the Blues in the summer, and subsequently scoring a late equaliser against Jose Mourinho’s side when the two met at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the season.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5.30pm.

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Manchester City 1 (Lampard) Chelsea 1 (Schurrle), Premier League, September 2014.

Manchester City 2 (Jovetic, Nasri) Chelsea 0, FA Cup, February 2014.

Manchester City 0 Chelsea 1 (Ivanovic), Premier League, February 2014.

STATS:

Frank Lampard has played against Chelsea 11 times, but never scored against them until he joined Manchester City.

The two clubs have met a total of 61 times, with Chelsea leading the head-to-head 61-58 with 38 draws.

Chelsea have not gone four games without a win since the start of the 2013-14 season (drew with Manchester United before losing to Bayern Munich on penalties, Everton and Basel).

The last time Manchester City lost three games in a row came between 24 October and 4 November 2010, when Roberto Mancini was in charge.

ODDS:

Chelsea – 2.2

Draw – 3.4

Manchester City – 3.7

TV: Sky Sports 1 at 5.30pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.

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