Most would have predicted before the season started that this game would have been a top-of-the-table ‘six pointer’ between the two most recent Premier League champions. However, deep into April, Chelsea are in mid-table obscurity with a very slim chance of reaching the Europa League and Manchester City are fighting to remain in the top four with their city rivals.
The only thing predictable about Manchester City’s season is its unpredictability. They can show glimmers of their potential in one game and then be roundly beaten by relative minnows in the next. On top of that, their manager Manuel Pellegrini has been on borrowed time ever since his replacement Pep Guardiola was announced, bizarrely in mid-season.
The Citizens have an attack which would be the envy of almost any team and is worth, at least on paper, well over £100 million. However, it has certainly not gelled in the way the management who spent so much money would have liked. However, it is in defence that City have had the most problems with Eliaquim Mangala, Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis prone to defensive errors.
Chelsea have had a terrible season by their standards, although Guus Hiddink has brought some stability to their results since taking over from Jose Mourinho, and they have not lost at home since the Dutch manager took over at Stamford Bridge.
Two months ago, Chelsea thumped City in the FA Cup 5-1 with the team from Manchester fielding a below strength team with an eye to a Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine only a few days later.
Nevertheless, even though Chelsea have stuttered of late, it would be hard to see anything short of a win for the team from West London.