Big Guns Try To Reel In United

Picture: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Edin Dzeko is Manchester City's equal leading scorer this season. Image courtesy of Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Chelsea’s hopes of catching the top two were slowly slipping away after a poor run of results which saw them draw with lowly Southampton and Reading and lose 3-2 to Newcastle in the space of three weeks. The Blues finally found their mojo with a 4-1 thumping of Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge, and will have a level of confidence when they head north to Manchester to take on City on Monday morning (AEDT).

The Sky Blues have been experiencing a similarly barren run of late. They shared the points with QPR and Liverpool before an unexpected 3-1 loss to Southampton, which was all the more disappointing as the Saints came in to the match with just one win since the start of the year. It was the third worst loss in the Roberto Mancini era and a loss to Chelsea will almost certainly spell the end of any hopes City has of reeling in crosstown rival Manchester United in the chase for the title

Chelsea skipper John Terry is hopeful of playing after spending considerable time on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury against Liverpool back in November. The Blues ridiculed newspaper reports of a training ground bust-up between Terry and manager Rafa Benitez, but the former England captain should be in the starting XI after making a successful return in the 4-0 FA Cup win over Brentford last Sunday. With Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel set for their returns to Premier League duty after being away for the Africa Cup of Nations, the west Londoners look more like the Chelsea that dominated at the start of the season.

City has won the last three encounters between these teams at the City of Manchester stadium, including a 2-1 win there last season. The sides shared the points following a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge back earlier this campaign. There has been a penalty awarded in five of the last seven clashes between the teams.

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