Chelsea v Manchester City

Barclays Premier League

Venue:
Stamford Bridge
Date:
Monday, 12 December
Kick-off:
2000 GMT
Coverage:
Watch live on Sky Sports 1; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and local radio; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles
Andre Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas has a point to prove after complaining Chelsea have been harshly treated by the media
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TEAM NEWS

Frank Lampard is hoping to be recalled to make his 350th Premier League start for Chelsea.

Jose Bosingwa is a doubt after missing the Champions League win against Valencia with an adductor strain, and Josh McEachran is still sidelined.

Manchester City right-back Micah Richards is likely to miss out with a calf injury.

Pablo Zabaleta is now fit and could replace him, but left-back Aleksandar Kolarov (groin) remains out.

MATCH PREVIEW

In the wake of a stinging rebuke to Chelsea's critics, Portuguese man-of-war Andre Villas-Boas needs his players to display their backbone against the league leaders.

The media barbs will be out if they don't. Villas-Boas claimed after Chelsea won their Champions League group in midweek that there had been "persecution" of the Blues during their recent indifferent run. He feels that Monday's opponents Manchester City have not been subjected to the same pressure despite their ultimate failure to reach the knockout stages in Europe.

Having "given everyone a slap in the face" by beating Valencia, Chelsea must now resuscitate their domestic title challenge. Their recent home record in this fixture is impressive, but then so is this current City side.

Roberto Mancini's team are averaging more than three goals a game and their current club record run of 17 league matches without defeat has only been bettered by four sides in the Premier League - including Chelsea.

Mancini has been philosophical about City's Champions League exit and is unlikely to get carried away whatever the result at Stamford Bridge. His counterpart, Villas-Boas, may not be so calm if Chelsea slip 13 points behind the leaders on Monday night.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Chelsea have won five of their last six home matches against Manchester City. Their only defeat in the last 13 was by 4-2 in February 2007 when Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy scored two goals apiece.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea's tally of 28 points from 14 matches matches their tally at the same stage last season. A win on Monday night would give them a better record than they had after 15 games a year ago.
  • They are the only top-flight club to use all three substitutes in every league game this season.
  • Didier Drogba is a hat-trick shy of 100 Premier League goals.
  • Frank Lampard has scored five goals in his last nine league matches against Manchester City. He could make his 350th Premier League start for Chelsea.

Manchester City

  • City have picked up 38 points from their 14 matches - the most by a top-flight club at this stage of the season since Liverpool had 38 in 1990-91. The last team to pick up 41 points from their first 15 top-flight matches was Manchester United in 1985-86.
  • Roberto Mancini's side have scored 48 league goals, a record last bettered at this stage of a season by Tottenham in 1962.
  • City have been behind for only a combined 15 minutes in all of their league matches this season.
  • They have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven league matches - their worst run for two years.

Live text commentary

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