Manuel Pellegrini’s men would look to avenge their Feb 3 EPL defeat to Chelsea in tonight’s FA Cup clash
London: Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea will resume hostilities in the FA Cup fifth round today.
A dejected Yaya Toure (left) and Edin Dzeko of Man City leave the field after their EPL loss vs Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3. Pic/Getty Images.
The game marks the second meeting between the two sides at the Etihad Stadium in the space of 12 days, with the Blues having come out on top in the previous clash. Full-back Branislav Ivanovic scored the winner on February 3 as City’s 20-match unbeaten run across all competitions came to an abrupt halt in a 1-0 win for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini
As well as holding home advantage, however, City head into Saturday’s encounter fresher than their opponents after their Premier League clash with Sunderland was postponed on Wednesday due to adverse weather conditions. However, the game denied City the opportunity to return to winning ways after Manuel Pellegrini’s normally free-scoring outfit drew blanks in their last two fixtures — the loss to Chelsea followed by a 0-0 draw at Norwich City.
The hosts’ top scorer, Sergio Aguero (hamstring), midfielder Fernandinho (groin) and centre-back Matija Nastasic (knee) are all set to miss out. Meanwhile, midfield pair Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia have recently returned to training following knee injuries but their involvement looks doubtful.
Chelsea had been riding the crest of a wave as they followed their win at City with a 3-0 home triumph over Newcastle. Mourinho’s side suffered a slight setback on Tuesday, however, when they were held to 1-1 draw at West Brom, with Victor Anichebe cancelling out Ivanovic’s opener.
The Blues remain at the top of the Premier League table, though City now have a game in hand and a far superior goal difference. Captain John Terry could come back into contention for Mourinho following a muscular issue, while Gary Cahill is struggling with a calf problem.
Nasri is back
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri is back in contention for today’s FA Cup tie with Chelsea.
The France international has been sidelined since suffering knee ligament damage in a tackle from Newcastle’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa five weeks ago.
Live on TV
. Manchester City vs Chelsea on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 2, 22:40
. Sunderland vs Southampton on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 2, 18:10