A team that can potentially make a swift exit from the Champions League with a loss to Real Madrid today, Manchester City will go into Sunday’s game looking to administer some punishment to a Chelsea team battling for a top-four finish in the EPL.
But Champions League aside, Man City has been on an absolute tear in EPL play, having yet to drop a match. Last week, Man City rolled over Aston Villa in a dominating 5-0 victory where Aston Villa had just two shots on goal.
As for Chelsea, it’s a rather different story as of late.
A squad that showed such promise through the first half of the season has fallen off mightily in November. Chelsea has a record of 2-4-2 in their last eight games and hasn’t won an EPL game in over a month.
After yesterday’s embarrassing 3-0 loss to Juventus, the Blues like Man City lie on the verge of Champions League elimination.
If that’s not bad enough, Owner Roman Abramovich laid down the law this morning and axed now ex-Manager Roberto Di Matteo after yesterday’s loss, reported The Guardian.
Manchester City vs. Chelsea will be a battle of two teams trying to make a statement, as both teams look to put their Champions League woes aside and make a run at an EPL title.
Who will win Sunday's match?
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England
When: Sunday, November 25, 11:00 a.m. EST
TV: FOX Soccer
Manchester City: Can they remain England’s top team?
Roberto Mancini’s squad has met all the preseason expectations thus far, and has a good shot at continuing their excellence in the EPL.
But with Man City’s poor performance in the Champions League, does that mean it’s a down year for the EPL?
Common sense points to no, but the result of today’s rematch against Real Madrid may strengthen that argument. Another loss at the hands of Madrid could also leave this recently over confident Man City team vulnerable to a Chelsea team that desperate needs a victory.
If it isn’t obvious already, Balotelli will certainly be the X-factor against Chelsea.
While the Sicilian forward has yet to score a goal in EPL play this season, his 26 shots are evidence that he’s due to deposit one in the upper-90.
Balotelli is flashy and will arguably be the best player on the pitch come Sunday, but perhaps more importantly, James Milner will be returning from a hamstring injury today against Madrid.
Milner has been an asset in Man City’s midfield as of late, breaking up sets and even scoring against Sunderland in October.
Expect a 4-4-2 formation on Sunday with Aguero and Balotelli at the top.
Man City should be healthy and ready to take on a struggling Chelsea squad.
Chelsea: Will Di Matteo’s firing result in a rejuvenated Chelsea squad, or continue their decline in the EPL standings?
"If you look at the sackings and offset it against the success, they are justified," said former defenseman Paul Elliot.
Di Matteo’s firing was certainly a warranted one, but what’s next?
Chelsea faces the hottest team in the EPL on Sunday after dropping two of their last three games.
In terms of formation, much is unknown and remains in question, and the squad will remain without veterans John Terry and Frank Lampard.
When Chelsea sacked Andre Villas-Boas back in March, an interesting phenomenon happened. Chelsea went on to win their next four matches.
With so much in question for Sunday’s match, the Blues can only hope for a similar trend.
Regardless of who’s at the helm on Sunday, Chelsea will come out ready to play with everything to lose.
Manchester City will pull out the victory 2-0 in a hard fought battle by both sides. Look for Balotelli to collect his first goal of EPL play.