Chelsea - Manchester City: Preview and Lineups Prediction

Chelsea are lucky to have a host of factors in their favour ahead of a fifth-round FA Cup clash with Manchest...

Chelsea Manchester City Preview Chelseadaft

Chelsea are lucky to have a host of factors in their favour ahead of a fifth-round FA Cup clash with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Despite the Blues' 2-1 loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash during the week, the defeat isn't too much of a setback considering they will take John Obi Mikel's away goal back to west London for the return fixture.

Superstition triumphed as Guus Hiddink sought to extend his unbeaten run at the helm to 13 games, but the mood in the dressing room likely remain upbeat given the team's solid form of late.

Our opponents, Manchester City, are in the midst of a crucial period of the campaign for them. The Sky Blues lost back to back league fixtures for the first time this season after losing to Leicester and Tottenham over the last fortnight in what could be two pivotal results in the title race.

Moreover, Manuel Pellegrini's men will begin their assault on the knockout stages of the Champions League with a trip to Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday before contesting the League Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley the following weekend.

Given his injury list and the number of senior players requiring rest ahead the next week, the Chilean is poised to field a significantly weakened lineup against Chelsea.

Manchester City Team News

Pellegrini faces the combination of dealing with numerous injuries to senior players and the prospect of playing three key fixtures in the next then days.

The Chilean boss will be without Bacary Sagna, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala, Fabian Delph and Wilfried Bony for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City Starting XI Prediction

Caballero | Kolarov, Demichellis, Otamendi, Zabaleta | Fernando, Garcia | Sterling, Garcia, Celina, Iheanacho

Six Previous Meetings

Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea (Premier League, August 2015)
Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City (Premier League, January 2015)
Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea (Premier League, September 2014)
Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea (FA Cup, February 2014)
Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea (Premier League, February 2014)
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City (Premier League, October 2013)

Score Prediction

Even though Chelsea will likely face a City outfit deprived of their key stars, we will have to be guarded against a youthful group who will raring to impress and keep their slim hopes of winning the quadruple this campaign.

With the exception of Hazard, who I'm not entirely convinced will start this match, our strongest XI is beginning to look capable of troubling the best in the business again. We have a versatile crop of players capable of either dominating games by playing possession-based football and/or hurting teams on the break when we find ourselves on the back foot, as we showed against PSG.

In light of injuries and fatigue forcing City to make wholesale changes, Chelsea have an opportunity to seize the initiative and play out this tie on our own terms, especially at home. However, even if the visitors do manage to come to the Bridge and dominate us in our own backyard, one only needs to look at how Leicester countered them to secure a convincing 3-1 victory a couple of weekends back.

I think we'll progress with a 2-1 win. What are your score predictions?

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