One of the results of the success of the Premiership in the mid-late 2000’s was that it began to attract rich men looking to buy clubs. However, when Roman Abramovich emerged he took the title of big shot.
That was until last year when the Abu Dhabi royal family bought Manchester City, suddenly Roman’s $20 billion seemed small change compared to the over $1 trillion in assets that Abu Dhabi has.
On the pitch, all that money cannot buy City a win and they have drawn 7 in a row, they have only been defeated once by Man U but are way off the pace. Ancelotti looks like being another “special one” and could win a title in his first year.
HEAD TO HEAD
Toure vs Drogba – To his credit, against Arsenal the Drog stayed on his feet and didn’t dive as he often does. These two Ivorians know each other well, Toure is one of best man-markers in the league but Drogba is unstoppable at the moment, he just needed two touches to see off Arsenal and he should score against this leaky defence.
Toure has struggled to click with Lescott, with Lescott marking zonal while he prefers man to man.
Anelka vs Lescott – this might be where Chelsea might get the most chances, the pace of Anelka is always a threat, he alternates wings feeding off the lay-offs of Drogba.
He will trouble his marker with high-tempo Lescott cost a bombshell from Everton but has yet to prove his worth the tag of $35m.
Essien vs Ireland – City are top-heavy with too many strikers, there is little creativity in midfield but their General is Stephen Ireland.
He has a small frame but passing vision that is shielded by two holding players. Essien was a bulldog against Arsenal, he sacrificed his attacking game to shackle Fabregas but expect him to drive forward today to put pressure on Lescott.
Terry vs Adebayor –Adebayor will want to play just off Terry, to give him room to use his superior pace. The two are well matched in the air, so ball to feet is a better option with a second striker on the wing.
John Terry coped well with the Arsenal threat, today he should have a much more physical challenge in Adebayor backed up by the industry of Bellamy and Tevez. He needs to stick tight to Adebayor, or play really deep to block his runs.
Bellamy vs Carvalho – The little Welshman is the best attacker City have at the moment, he is bombastic, energetic, uncompromising and has some talent but a bad temper.
Terry might be too slow to mark Bellamy but the dirty tactics of Carvalho might be perfect to goad Bellamy into a red card. City needs Bellamy to play out wide left to give them width but he will be turning in to face Carvalho.
On the whole you have to go with Chelsea to win this, but they have lost to teams like Wigan so nothing is certain. Chelsea will not allow any team to play free-flowing football, they first stifled and frustrate then start to play.
Man City has Robinho coming back and he might feature as a sub, so City have and ace in reserve. The game overall ought to be tense and cagey with simple mistakes being punished, Chelsea look awesome in the middle third and should steamroller City.
This is going to be a midfield battle and Chelsea has a much better line-up in that area, I see a 2-0 win for Chelsea.