The English Premier League gets a welcome break for a number of sides who are either fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table or looking to claim the illusive Premier League title. For Manchester City and Chelsea it’s the latter and they will go head to head in the English FA Cup 5th round.
In what is the mouth watering tie of the 5th round, Jose Mourinho will be hoping to guide his Chelsea to victory for the second time in the space of a fortnight against Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Branislav Ivanovic’s goal was enough to give Chelsea a vital 3 points and it’s unlikely that either manager will be resting on their laurels and taking the competition ‘lightly’. Other Premier League sides have fielded weaker sides but with the amount of money these two clubs have lashed out over the past couple of seasons neither can justify players needing rest as they have a lot of quality in depth at their disposals.
Jose Mourinho was considerably doubted in his tactics when Chelsea headed to the Ettihad Stadium two weeks ago but the special one surprised everyone with an incredibly attacking side where the influential Eden Hazard was the stand out player. The Belgian has maintained his level of performance and recently hit a hat trick in the 3-0 victory over Newcastle United. Eden Hazard is a top priced 10/3 at William Hill to score anytime against Man City which for the form he is in has value.
Although the 1-0 score line suggests the game at the Ettihad was marginal, both teams should’ve easily scored more than they should’ve. John Terry and Gary Cahill have both been ruled out through injury which is why both teams to score at 4/6 with SkyBet is a safe bet given Manchester City’s goal scoring prowess at home and Chelsea’s attacking options in the final third. Some may say Manchester City haven’t scored in their previous two fixtures but I fully expect them to score with Chelsea’s first choice centre backs out.
Manchester City: Pellegrini will point to the fact that he has a number of influential players out of action through injury which has hindered their past couple of results. Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Javi Garcia are all certainly going to be missing whilst Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have slight knocks but both should get game time. Yaya Toure is likely to be City’s enforcer once again from midfield but he can count himself somewhat fortunate for the FA relieving him of a suspension for his petulant kick on Ricky Van Wolfswinkel.
Chelsea: John Terry and Gary Cahill will both be absent which will likely see David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic in the heart of defence. A recall for Ashley Cole is also on the cards. Dutch midfielder, Marco Van Ginkel is Chelsea’s other notable absentee. Fernando Torres has returned to full training in the past week and Jose Mourinho could elect to give Samuel Eto’o a rest after the Cameroon forward has played a lot of minutes of late.
Likely line ups:
Manchester City: Hart, Clichy, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure, James Milner, David Silva, Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic.
Chelsea: Cech, Cole, Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Ivanovic, Ramires, Lampard, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o.