Manchester City entertain Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime, knowing that a win will send them thirteen points clear of their London rivals.
The blues currently sit at the top of the pile, and they have an excellent record against the top teams in the division, having completed a league double over Arsenal and Leicester, earned away victories at Chelsea and United, while drawing at Liverpool.
Chelsea have a similar record, winning at Arsenal and Leicester, but drawing twice with Liverpool, once with United and losing to City.
Saturday’s meeting will be the 25th time City have faced Chelsea at home, with City winning just nine to Chelsea’s thirteen. The visitors won their first ever Premier League match at City, 1-0 at Maine Road in September 1992 and remained unbeaten against the blues in the Premier League until City beat Jose Mourinho’s team 1-0 in October 2004.
In between, City suffered five straight defeats and earned a 2-2 draw with the Londoners. Following their first win, City then lost four straight matches, before winning the next four. Last season’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea put the blues title winning celebrations on hold and ended a run of three successive City wins.
Prior to the Premier League, the two teams played against each other 51 league matches in Manchester, with City winning twenty-six to Chelsea’s eleven. Typically, City lost their first two home encounters with Chelsea, 3-0 in April 1908, and 2-1 on Christmas Day the same year.
City’s longest unbeaten run against Chelsea is 20 matches, achieved between April 1934 and November 1961. The blues won 12 and drew eight in all competitions during this run, but strangely enough, the loss immediately before the run started and the one that ended it was 4-1 to the visitors!
The blues 6-0 victory over Chelsea in February 2019 is City’s biggest win over the Londoners, with the heaviest defeat being 4-1. City also put six past Chelsea in November 1977 with the visitors responding twice.
City also hit five past Chelsea on three consecutive occasions between December 1956 and November 1958. The blues won 5-4 (which is still the highest scoring match between the two), then 5-2 and 5-1.
This will be only the fourth time these two have met in January, and the superstitious will like the fact that City have won all the previous matches played in this month.
Let’s hope it continues on Saturday.