Manchester City v Chelsea Match Preview (FA Cup) – Monday 3rd February 2014

Chelsea fans will have to wait until Monday for their football fix this “weekend” but the wait will be well worth it with a huge Monday night game against current league leaders Man City in store. It will be a major test for Jose Mourinho and his side and whilst the Special One will do everything he can to ensure his side are free to play without fear or pressure, few Blues would deny that a point would be a satisfactory outcome.

The two teams both played on Wednesday and whilst City thrashed Spurs 5-1 at White Hart Lane, the Pensioners were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at home against West Ham. Given the Hammers had conceded 17 goals in their last five matches and Chelsea appeared to be hitting decent form the result was a surprise. Although the home side had 39 shots compared to just one for the visitors, there were relatively few clear cut chances and just nine shots on target.

Mourinho’s side will clearly have to improve here against the current Premier League leaders and title favourites. Improve they will but whether it will be enough against such a powerful attacking force remains to be seen. The Citizens look very well set to break Chelsea’s Premier League goals record set in 2009-2010 when they notched 103. Manuel Pellegrini’s men have got 68 already and if they continue at this pace will finish with around 112 but given their scoring seems to increase week by week that tally could go even higher. City have won their last eight in the league and 11 of the last 12, as well as boasting a 100% home league record this season.

Given Chelsea have hardly set the world alight on their travels this term it is very difficult to see anything other than a home win. Man City have beaten the Blues the last four times they have met in the north west but if there is some possibility for optimism it must come from the fact that prior to that Chelsea had won a staggering 10 of the 12 previous meetings there, losing just one. Of course, this crop of City players is arguably better than anything in the last four seasons, let alone the ones before that but given how powerful the Citizens look right now, straws may have to be clutched whenever they are seen!

Mourinho’s developing team have managed just five league wins away from Stamford Bridge this season and only the 3-0 win at Southampton was against a side in the top half of the table. They have travelled to five top eight sides, losing at Newcastle and Everton (as well as at 16th placed Stoke) and drawing at Arsenal, Man United and Spurs.

Those draws and the defensive tactics that underpinned them may offer some hope but, even if Sergio Aguero is missing for the home side, they just look too powerful at the moment and unfortunately we think it will be a long journey south for any travelling Chelsea fans.

LCN Verdict: Man City to win 3-0