FA Cup Match Preview: Manchester City FC vs Chelsea FC
Jose Mourinho’s boys travel to Etihad this weekend, to face Manchester City in the fifth round of the world’s oldest cup competition, the FA Cup. In route to the fifth round, Chelsea comfortably dispatched Derby and Stoke. Manchester City, on the contrary, blew off Blackburn 5-0 after being held to a draw at Ewood Park & then saw off Championship side Watford at Etihad.
The “Blues vs Blues” battle has been a common fixture over the last couple of years and both teams thoroughly know each other’s strengths & weaknesses. Also, interesting is the fact that this game arrives in the aftermath of Chelsea’s brilliant win at Etihad in the Premier League, earlier this month.
Jose Mourinho did not just ensure three points with his tactics, but also dismantled the air of invincibility surrounding the Etihad, forcing City to take a hard look at themselves and in the process, earning plaudits from all & sundry. Make no mistake, City will not be an easy opponent this Saturday and they are still the favorites to go through. However, Chelsea have a real chance to make a strong case.
Chelsea will also have an extra two days of rest as City’s league fixture against Sunderland got postponed until Thursday evening due to unfavourable weather. The fatigue factor may play a crucial role in the tie, especially with City having to play Barcelona in a Champions’ League tie whereas Chelsea play only a week later.
Without much ado, let us take a look at all the information we need before the game.
DATE & TIME: February 15, 2014 at 12:15 EST; February 15, 2014 at 17:15 GMT; February 15, 2014 at 18:15 WAT; February 15, 2014 at 19:15 CAT; February 15, 2014 at 20:15 EAT; February 15, 2014 at 22:45 IST.
VENUE: The Etihad, Manchester, England.
TV/STREAMING NEWS: The match will be telecast live on ESPN Australia/Pacific Rim on Australia, Supersport 3 Africa in African sub-continent, Sportsnet World in Canada, ESPN Cono Sur/Latin America in Colombia, beIN Sports Arabia 11/14 HD in Egypt, beIN Sports 2 in France, Sport 1+ in Germany, Star Sports 4 & Star Sports HD2 in India, Fox Sports HD in Italy, Fox Sports in Japan, Astro Supersport 3 in Malaysia, Fox Sports 2 in Netherlands, beIN Sports Arabia 11/14 HD in UAE, ITV1/UTV in UK and Fox Sports 2 in USA.
The match is available online on Sportsnet World Online in Canada and Fox Soccer 2 Go in USA.
You can also catch the game on BBC Radio 5 Live in UK.
MANCHESTER CITY FC SQUAD NEWS: Matija Nastatic recently picked up a knee injury and is expected to be out of the weekend’s action along with Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho. Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia have returned to training, but are still doubtful to start the game against Chelsea.
CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Chelsea have a relatively clean bill of health, except for Marco van Ginkel who is out with the cruciate ligament tear. Fernando Torres returned to squad against West Brom. John Terry, however, is still doubtful & may face a fitness test before the game.
REFEREE: Philip Dowd.
FORM INDEX: Manchester City – WWWWLD; Chelsea – WWDWWD.
- Chelsea are undefeated in 31 of their last 32 matches in FA Cup.
- Manchester City have won 12 of their last 15 matches in FA Cup.
- Chelsea have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 matches in FA Cup.
- Jose Mourinho has won 7, drew 1 and lost 1 in all head-to-heads against Manuel Pellegrini.
In the recent years, Chelsea have had a tremendous success rate in the FA Cup, winning it four times in the last 7 seasons. Manchester City away is the toughest fixture the “FA Cup specialists” could face, and if they manage to pull of a victory, the Road To Wembley would be a rather smooth one, hereafter.