When Chelsea started this craze for spending some 7 years ago, they more or less got instant results but that was due to the Mourinho effect more than anything.
As Manchester City have proved, money doesn’t buy instant success, it is more important to get the coach in place, who can mould the perfect team.
Man City is a team that has been hastily assembled like you do in your fantasy football account, you have millions to spend and you do it with glee and not much thought. Man City came close last year as Spurs beat them to the 4th spot and delayed the fairytale, this game will determine whether the dream will continue.
As for Chelsea, what can you say? 5 wins in 5, 21 scored and 1 conceded, a vicious machine that just pulverizes its opponents. The game against Blackpool was a perfect example; they set to crush their opponents early with zero mercy.
Didier Drogba is awesome, Essien is majestic, but the real gem is Flourent Malouda. The French international is playing like a second striker, sneaking in behind defenders and finishing off counter-attacks.
For all their might, Chelsea are brittle and could crack, you get the feeling they are racing to put a cushion of points before injuries set in. The defence is particularly vulnerable with only two specialist centerbacks.
Manchester City as ever have an embarrassment of riches too many players to pick from, the biggest headache Roberto Mancini had was reducing his squad from 39 professionals to 25. In the process he dropped some world class players but didn’t lose sleep.
Carlos Tevez has been their main talisman; his dogged hyperactive style has been fruitful as he has found his scoring touch. The problem is the other strikers, Adebayor is mentally not the same as he was before, and I can’t think of many other viable options.
The midfield is tight and their best asset with De Jong, Barry and Vieira all screening and passing but creatively they need Milner and David Silva to click on the wings. Unfortunately De Jong is out of this one.
Chelsea will rely on the counterattack as always when they are away, with Malouda heavily marked it will fall on Ashley Cole to bomb forward to provide penetration on the left.
The rest will be down the middle with Drogba dominating the back 4, Essien, Mikel and Ramires versus Barry, Vieira and Co. might clog up the center with traffic so it would help if both sides were positive and dropped one holding player.
Silva and Malouda will perform similar roles with little free space to operate in. A red card or two is possible given the stakes, to quote Point Blank “it is going to be bloody!”
A draw is possible in this game as both teams cancel each other out, it will not be the 6-0 or 4-0 that Chelsea is used to. If Chelsea win they will sneak it with a header which is the weakness of City.
Prediction 1-0 to Chelsea