City look to put the minor disappointment of the midweek League Cup defeat at West Brom behind them as they Chelsea visit Eastlands.
A win for City will the champions 100% start to the season and further emphasise their ambitions to join the top four elite and consolidate their position in fourth place. But defeat will no doubt be met with derision from pundits everywhere, claiming City are nowhere near good enough to challenge at the top.
Chelsea will be looking to avenge last season double as the blues came back form a goal down at Eastlands to win 2-1, before that result was doubled at Stamford Bridge as City ran out 4-2 winners.
The Champions also lost their League Cup clash with Newcastle on Wednesday and the fact that they rested several key players for that game, saving them instead for Saturday, is a clear sign they see the City game as more important.
City have big defensive worries ahead of the clash, with Jerome Boateng, Wayne Bridge, Aleksander Kolarov and Joleon Lescott all out injured and Micah Richards is doubtful with a hamstring injury. Shaun Wright-Phillips is struggling with a knee injury, while Mario Balotelli is still out.
England midfielder Frank Lampard, who missed a penalty last season at Eastlands, will miss the game through injury, while Soloman Kalou, Yossi Benayoun and Gael Kakuta are all doubtful to make the match
Manchester City (from): Hart, Given, Richards, Boateng, Zabaleta, Kompany, K Toure, Boyata, Wright-Phillips, A Johnson, de Jong, Vieira, Barry, Y Toure, Milner, Silva, Tevez, Adebayor, Jo, Santa Cruz
Chelsea (from): Cech, Turnbull, Ferreira, Alex, Terry, Bruma, van Aanholt, Cole, Ivanovic, Malouda, Mikel, Ramires, Zhirkov, Essien, McEachran, Drogba, Anelka, Sturridge, Kakuta
Pete: With both teams losing in midweek, each team will need to win to justify the team selection so I think they will cancel each other out and play out a draw.
Prediction: City 2-2 Chelsea
Brian: Chelsea are looking strong so far this season unbeaten in the league. Beaten twice by City last season I’m sure Chelsea will be out for blood. Like City, Chelsea also were knocked out of the Carling Cup this week. Like City, Chelsea were watching the game at the weekend and considered by both mangers a much more important game. I’ll be totally honest I’d love to see City winning 2-0, I’d be happy before the game with a 1-1 draw, my worst nightmare is probably nearer the truth I think Chelsea will win 3 – 1 kills me to think it but I’m not to sure how the game will unfold. Positive thinking and support will help on the day so I’m going say 1 – 1 piece due to injuries on both sides. Looking forward to it all the same even if a bit nervous, not so looking forward to a 6.30am flight in the morning.
City 1 – 1 Chelsea
Real Mancs Are Blue: It’s obviously going to be a tough game on Saturday. Chelsea look are like an unstoppable behemoth and we are in the midst of a true injury crisis. That being said I think ‘typical city’ will ring true once again and we will either draw, or if Balotelli starts we may win. Our defence is going to be the major issue.
My prediction City 3 Chelsea 1
Jake: We couldn’t have had a tougher game than Chelsea, after being knocked out in the Carling Cup on Wednesday. Chelsea have conceded just five goals and scored a massive 54 in their last 13 Premiership games. With the blues very light on fit defenders for this 12:45 kick off, I’m afraid I will have to go with my head over my heart and go for a draw. Mancini has transformed our leaky defence under Mark Hughes into a formidable backline this season, so I don’t expect Chelsea to bang in as many goals as they did against Blackpool and Wigan. But, we are playing against the Premiership champions and that’s always going to be a tough task for anybody.
Prediction – Manchester City 1 – 1 Chelsea (Goal scorer – Carlos Tevez)
Callum: My prediction is 1-1. I think we will take the lead through Yaya Toure, David Silva or James Milner and then Carlos Tevez will miss a penalty, then they will get another penalty which Drogba scores
Prediction: City 1-1 Chelsea
Meanwhile the ‘experts’ have had their say. Mark Lawrenson has us down for a 1-1 draw, while Sky Sports has Chelsea down for a 2-1 win. Jamie Redknapp doesn’t think City will get beat but doesn’t commit to a score while Paul Merson believes Chelsea win will 3-1 and City will be out of the title race.
What do you think? Let us know your predictions
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