September 24th 2010
Both sides enter this derby match smarting from their respective Carling Cup defeats in midweek and needless to say they will have something to prove on Saturday. City haven’t had such a great start to the season, although the good result against high-flying Chelsea could kick-start their campaign.
City serve as the perfect proof that money can’t buy you titles as the Citizens keep buying world-class players but are yet to show qualities of title contenders. The arrival of David Silva, Yaya Toure and Mario Balotelli has added more quality to the side, although City still lack the cohesion and team spirit needed to start playing to their potential. This remains the main reason behind their slow start to the Premiership campaign and it is evident Roberto Mancini’s side need to beat one of the title contenders in order to be taken seriously. The game against Chelsea would be the perfect opportunity for that if it wasn’t for the numerous selection problems Roberto Mancini faces at the moment. With Balotelli, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Kolarov and Richards all sidelined, the hosts have their work cut out for them, especially since Lescott and Boateng could also miss out.
Chelsea are enjoying one of their best ever starts to the Premiership campaign with maximum number of points and 21 goals scored in the first five games giving them plenty of reason for optimism before the trip to Eastlands. The Carling Cup exit at the hands of Newcastle can be considered as a minor blow, although Carlo Ancelotti at least managed to rest his starters for the City game. In all fairness, this will be the first real test for the Blues after they mostly played bottom table teams in the opening rounds, but with the way they’ve been playing lately, the winning trend looks likely to continue. The attacking trio of Malouda, Anelka and Drogba is red-hot at the moment, while with Essien and Ramires bossing the midfield, not even the absence of Frank Lampard looks like too much to bear. Salomon Kalou, Yossi Benayoun, Jose Bosingwa and Gael Kakuta are also on the sidelines, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
The opening game of the round is likely to bring us a lot of excitement as City are desperate to prove they are capable of matching the best sides in the Premiership, but I just can’t see that happening. Chelsea are on fire at the moment and when that is the case not even much better sides than City are capable of stopping them.
Verdict: Away win Chelsea (2)
Best Odds: 6/5
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!