Preview: A tight encounter on the cards
Manchester City are eying the quadruple and their first chance to win a cup this season has come. Goalkeeper Joe Hart did not quite impress against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last month and will understandably be replaced by Costel Pantilimon.
“When managers have got decisions to make, whether it benefits me or not, I have to be man enough to take it,” Hart explained before adding:
“I work hard every day to win and I understand it doesn't always go my way and you have to move forward.”
It remains to be seen whether Manuel Pellegrini’s decision will pay off. The biggest team news in City’s camp is that Sergio Aguero has recovered from injury and is expected to play a role this Sunday.
Preview: City hoping to gain momentum in title race
Last time the Citizens played in the Premier League was two weeks back when they bored a 0-0 stalemate against Norwich City. Since then the Etihad side has had a league encounter against Sunderland postponed due to adverse weather conditions and now see themselves trailing Chelsea by three points. If Pellegrini's men succeed in winning both their match tonight as well as the match in hand, they can displace Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea from the top of the table having a much superior goal difference.
Preview: Manchester City want to show their coming of age
Manuel Pellegrini has helped guide Manchester City beyond the Champions League Group Stage, but he now faces a more difficult task. The Chilean manager has his squad competing on four fronts this season, but getting past Barcelona may be his toughest task since his arrival at the Etihad.
Free-flowing offense has City scoring loads of goals, despite an occasional slip-up here and there. They are currently third in the Premier League standings, but they have a game in hand.
The Citizens have grown exponentially as a club since 2008 when the Abu Dhabi United Group acquired Manchester City. Upon the acquisition by its oil rich owners, the club benefited from a regular inflow of funds which have been since then invested on purchasing world class players from all of Europe and in the process City have established themselves as one of the strongest sides domestically.
After clinching the FA Cup title in 2011 the Citizens then went ahead to beat rivals Manchester United for the Premier League title in the 2011-2012 season which was their first in over 40 years. However much for their spending spree and their domestic dominance the Citizens have failed to make their mark in Europe.
Preview: City looking for revenge against league leaders
Mourinho outsmarted his Chilean counterpart last time the two sides met as Chelsea raced to a 1-0 victory over Man City and thus becoming the only English side to beat the Citizens at their own backyard this season. Now the Blues will look forward to achieving the feat for the second time within a span of a month as the two sides lock horns at the Etihad once again.
It took a ferocious strike from Branislav Ivanovic to clinch all three points for the Blues as the Serbian full back scored the only goal of the match.
Preview: Citizens hoping to return to winning ways
Pellegrini's men who looked destined for Premier League glory, have encountered a major hurdle in their quest for a second league title in three seasons having failed to record a victory in their last two matches. The Citizens who have already passed the 100 goal mark for the campaign have struggled for goals lately and after losing out to Chelsea at the Etihad, the Premier League’s top scorers failed to make an impression in their last outing against Norwich with the match ending in a stalemate.
Preview: Can the Citizens rise up again?
They are back to planet Earth. They were flying high, almost too high. With 11 wins in 11 home games and a total of 42 goals scored in the process, the Etihad Stadium transformed into one of the scariest grounds in Europe. Visitors went in without keys, were locked for 90 minutes and tormented throughout.
But last Monday, Jose Mourinho aka the Special One did what Arsenal, Liverpool and several other clubs couldn’t: to triumph at the Etihad and prevent the hosts from scoring a single goal.
The Blues tactically dominated the opposition. Chelsea hit the post three times. If it wasn’t for bad luck, Man City would have ended the night red-faced with a heavier defeat than the 1-0 loss they suffered.
Preview: Title race mission at the Etihad
This match is of great importance for three sets of fans in particular. Supporters of the two teams involved – Man City and Chelsea – are not the only ones that will be on the edge of their seats all night. Gooners will also follow proceedings at the Etihad very closely, since Arsenal’s status as English Premier League leaders is under threat.
The Gunners returned to the summit thanks to their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday but the Citizens will leapfrog them at the end of Matchday 24 should they defeat the Blues. As it stands, Manuel Pellegrini’s men are sandwiched between Arsenal and upcoming opponents Chelsea.
Preview: Spurs looking for revenge after humiliation at Etihad
The Lilywhites were thoroughly outclassed last time the two sides met earlier in the season. Man City who have been breathtakingly good at home displayed a near to perfect performance as they recorded a 6-0 victory over the North London side.
Even though Tottenham recorded 13 shots during the game compared to City’s 15, Pellegrini's side was much more clinical and recorded a win in exemplary fashion.
Preview: City to keep quadruple hopes alive
Much has been spoken of Man City’s chances to record a historical quadruple by the end of the season and by the looks of it, Pellegrini’s men still stand a chance of being the first English team to achieve the feat.
The Citizens come into match fresh from a 3-0 thrashing of West Ham, in doing so City recorded a massive 9-0 win over the Hammers on aggregate which booked their place in the final of the Capital One Cup where they face league strugglers Sunderland.
Preview: City poised to clinch a place in the final
Only an unlikely miracle will now prevent Pellegrini’s side to make it to the final of the Capital One Cup after a thoroughly dominating performance in the first leg. City demolished the Hammers 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium courtesy of an Alvaro Negredo hat-trick, an Edin Dzeko brace and another goal from talismanic midfielder Yaya Toure.
West Ham’s 6-0 deficit means that even a repeat of their finest performance against the sky blues, which saw them scoring a 6-1 victory over the Etihad side back in the 1962-1963 season will not be enough to see them through to the final. Furthermore the irons have not defeated City since 2009 when they scored a 1-0 victory at the Upton Park which was their only victory in 16 meetings between the two sides.
Preview: Can Blackburn cause a massive upset?
Manchester City is not quite the force it is at home away from it despite their win in early December against the European Champions at the Allianz Arena. In the Premier League, they managed five away wins in eleven attempts, losing four times. At Ewood Park, therefore, when Scott Dann equalized, not too many regular City viewers were shocked. That draw incidentally is the only poor result for City in a stretch of eight games in all competitions.
Prior to those eight matches, City lost Sergio Aguero to injury against Arsenal in a scintillating 6-3 win. Aguero has returned and is obviously raring to go, though whether he will feature in this match is yet to be confirmed. Manuel Pellegrini is delighted to have his star striker back according to BBC:
“He is a very important player for us.
Preview: Does Newcastle have the tools for an upset?
Newcastle United has been causing a stir in the Premier League this season. They currently lie eighth in the Premier League table. However, their recent performances have not lived up to expectations. Following an emphatic 5-1 win over nine man Stoke City, Alan Pardew’s men lost to Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion respectively in the league. They followed up that result with a 1-2 defeat to newly revived Cardiff in the FA Cup.
In the defeat against Arsenal, Newcastle played with plenty of spirit. The Gunners were troubled throughout the match and had to be very resolute to keep out a good Newcastle attack. Manuel Pellegrini mentioned this according to Sky Sports prior to this match:
Preview: Can Manuel Pellegrini’s side secure a home win?
The plethora of injuries on both sides might make this match a less of a spectacle. Big Sam, however, surely will be looking forward to trying to hurt his rich opponent’s pride. West Ham has been struggling in the Premier League to say the least. They sit second from bottom, having collected only 15 points from 20 games. If their league home form is an indicator of their form at home in the Cup competitions, the day could turn out to be a long one for Allardyce. They have only won two home games in the Barclays Premier League.
City’s Chilean coach, Manuel Pellegrini already ruled out Martin Demichelis, Sergio Aguero, Jack Rodwell, Stevan Jovetic and Micah Richards. Considering the busy Christmas and New Year schedule of the Premier League, the manager might consider making some changes…
Preview: City hoping to start new year on a strong note
After ending 2013 on a high, the Citizens will be hoping to start from where they left off and begin the year in style. The Sky Blues are currently unbeaten in their last 11 matches in all competitions, a run which has seen them maul the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham and brush aside title contenders Liverpool as well as European heavyweights Bayern Munich.
Their next challenge will be a trip to South Wales where they face a Swansea City side which has failed to live up to the billing this season.
Preview: Eagles set for a daunting task at the Etihad
17th placed Crystal Palace will face the league’s deadliest attacking force when they lock horns with second placed Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The citizens have scored a massive 53 goals in 18 matches they have played so far in the league, this is 41 more goals than the 12 Palace have scored so far.
The Glaziers have been a different side since former Stoke manager Tony Pulis took over management with Palace having won three of their last five games.
Preview: A titanic clash
Manchester City have maintained a perfect home record this season, with eight wins. They’ve conceded only five goals at the Etihad, three of those coming in the epic goal fest against Arsenal in mid-December.
Since their convincing 3-0 victory on the first day of the month, the Citizens have been unable to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League. They struggled to record a 4-2 win at Fulham last weekend, bringing their tally to eight goals allowed in only four matches.
Preview: Pellegrini hoping for a strong away performance
A 6-3 mauling of league leaders Arsenal ensured City maintain their perfect home record in the league. But it is their stuttering away form which has deprived them of the top spot and the sky blues will be hoping to give a dominant performance in order to better their position in the table.
Man City announced themselves as serious title contenders as they ran riot at the Etihad last week. After scoring six goals against Tottenham, City were now to torment their North London rivals Arsenal who before then match had the best defensive record in the league but ended up conceding six to Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Preview: Leicester face a daunting task in Capital one fixture
The Blues will have to put the performance of a lifetime if they are to get anything out of the match when they face the league’s top scorers Manchester City. Fresh from a 6-3 mauling of league toppers Arsenal, the Citizens will be in a buoyant mood ahead of the match.
The Etihad side who have not won the competition in 37 years boast a mesmerising attacking unit which has scored goals for fun in the league this season even against the likes of neighbours Manchester United and North London sides Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.