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Chelsea vs Manchester City – Match Preview

Chelsea captain John Terry will miss Sunday’s FA Cup tie because of the hamstring injury he suffered against Newcastle last weekend.

Oscar returned from a calf injury in midweek and could start, but Alexandre Pato is still short of match fitness.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he will rest several senior players, so youngsters such as Bersant Celina and Manu Garcia could feature.

Bacary Sagna is back in training and may return from a knee problem.

Editor’s Note: Guus Hiddink will look at this competition as the best chance of winning some silverware this season and with that the chance for Chelsea to play in Europe the next. It won’t be Hiddink leading them into a European campaign as he’s only here until May but it would be the perfect parting gift by the man who won The F.A. Cup back in 2009 in his first stint as Chelsea Interim Manager.

His unbeaten run in his second spell as Interim Manager came to an end on Tuesday as his side lost to French Champions PSG. Although John Obi Mikel’s crucial away goal in that 2-1 defeat makes the tie still very much to play for.

In the Premier League the ship has not only been steadied it now seems to be moving in a forward direction, last season’s Champions now find themselves in 12th and only two points behind another under performing side in the way of Liverpool. The rise to 12th has coincided with them going 10 league matches unbeaten.

They were almost back to the Championship winning best last Saturday as they demolished a hapless Newcastle 5-1 at Stamford Bridge. Although how much of that was Chelsea playing well and Newcastle playing badly remains to be argued.

Today they play host to a Manchester City who is fair to say don’t have both eyes on this competition. With a Champions League tie against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday, Manuel Pellegrini is going to have to make sacrifices as the F.A. Cup is currently the lowest of priorities for the blue half of Manchester.

If they can get through this tie unscathed then the opinion of Pellegrini will no doubt change but with the less than perfect fixture scheduling, a point that the club have written to The F.A. to share their displeasure about it might have to be the trophy that is sacrificed for the possible greater good. An almost telling spectacle of how the Cup has fallen in terms of importance.

If the Cup may be the sacrificial lamb in terms of trophies then the Premier League could well be the one that got away. The chances of them winning the title were made even more difficult as they were beaten by Spurs 2-1 last Sunday. City did have their chances but they were only woken up once they went 1-0 down.

Now obviously you could argue that the Penalty decision was incredibly harsh against Raheem Sterling and it gave Spurs a massive advantage but the City of old would have taken charge of that game from the start and been proactive rather than reactive.

With a probably weakened lineup for City this Afternoon this must play into Chelsea’s hand and they will no doubt look to get one over their Billionaire rivals. City are certainly not going to want a replay as this will only make their problems worse in terms of fixture congestion. That’s not to say they are going to throw the game or anything like that but the game is certainly there for Chelsea’s taking. A home win and the Premier League Champions into the 6th Round for me.

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