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Chelsea preview.


Both sides will be looking to rebound from shaky Boxing day performances. Chelsea stumbled a little before finally overcoming neighbours Fulham 3-2, whilst City must regroup following the defensive collapse at Wigan.
It is an important little period ahead for us we face a potentially tricky set of fixtures before the end of January - Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Tottenham, United and Bolton, with the FA Cup sandwiched in between. On paper at least those set of games appear difficult and it's not the easiest start with the Champions rolling into town tomorrow.
Chelsea are undoubtedly the strongest side in the Premiership at present, and it is hard to back against them to win the title two years running. Throughout the side they are strong, committed and have a real will to win. Perhaps they lack a true 'pure' goalscorer but Drogba and Crespo are well supplemented by the likes of Robben, Duff, Lampard and Cole from midfield whilst the defence is well marshalled by captain John Terry with the impressive Petr Cech in goal.
Of course there is then the Mourinho factor. The 'chosen one' will be fully aware that both his Premiership defeats have come in Manchester and that his Chelsea side have yet to score against City. He will have to do without Carvalho and Essein through injury, whilst Stuart Pearce will be mulling over bringing Dunne and Cole back into the side. I expect Dunne will certainly be back in for Sommeil at the very least in an attempt to tighten up the defence.
For City to have a chance of taking something from the game Joey Barton will need to summon up another performance which he showed against Wigan as if Chelsea are able to dominate us in midfield we are on the back foot immediately.
An interesting sideshow will be the return of Shaun Wright-Phillips, whose move has not quite gone according to plan as of yet. Although he did manage a start on Boxing day he was hauled off at half-time and is not playing with the confidence he did at City.
The reaction of the fans will be interesting, and one thing that I know has disappointed is the fact that he has at no time mentioned his time at City and the gratitude he owes the club (and particularly Kevin Keegan) for the part they played in his development. I don't think he will get booed in the way that Michael Owen did on his return to Anfield but it will interesting to see the reaction nonetheless.

Prediction: City 0 Chelsea 2.