Comment: Win, lose or draw, what will Man City’s crucial clash with Chelsea mean?

Braces from Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez ensured Manchester City inflicted Chelsea’s first Premier League defeat at home of the season.

This was February 2010, and what City fans would give for a repeat this evening.

For those whose memory’s better than mine, you’ll know this game – which finished 4-2 – featured the infamous John Terry and Wayne Bridge no-handshake saga.

While that may have been expected, no one predicted Chelsea would concede four at Stamford Bridge in a season in which they clinched the title, won a match 8-0 and scored seven on three other occasions at home.

Fast forward to 2015 and the stage is set for the biggest game of the season.

This time around City are in the hunt for their third league title in four years, heading to London currently five points behind Jose Mourinho’s men.

Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony are both unavailable after Ivory Coast qualified for the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, while Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala are both doubtful.

Meanwhile, Chelsea will be missing the suspended Diego Costa, and Cesc Fabregas is expected to be out through injury.

The former has scored 17 league goals this term, while the latter has provided 15 assists.





This is a massive blow for the league leaders but they possess the strongest squad in the league, and can call on Loic Remy or Didier Drogba as firepower up top.

Much talk has been about where a City loss would leave them in their bid to successfully defend the title, but that is only one of three scenarios.

So we give you: The Three If’s

What happens if City lose?

My maths tells me that would put them eight points behind, a seemingly insurmountable feat that would leave City playing alone for second place.

However, titles are not handed out on plates and there would still be 15 games and 45 points to chase – and a swing in momentum can happen at any point.

Take Liverpool last season – at this stage last season they were eight points behind leaders Arsenal, but found themselves top after 32 games and the title was still in their own hands after 34.

Of course, they let it slip. But City fans will still hang onto memories of 2012.

Weeks before Sergio Aguero’s right boot snatched the title from Manchester United, they sat eight points behind their bitter rivals with only six games left.

All will not be lost.

So what happens if they draw?

No team has left Stamford Bridge this season with as much as a point, but if it were to happen today then it will still be Chelsea’s to throw away, though City’s task would not seem as daunting.

As it stands six of City’s eight remaining home games will be against bottom-half opposition, so there’s a real potential for maximum points at the Etihad and Manuel Pellegrini will hope for nothing less.

The bigger obstacles come in the form of trips to Anfield, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane, where Liverpool, United and Spurs will all be desperately chasing Champions League qualification.

And if they win?

The teams who have grabbed victory at the Bridge while Chelsea have been under Mourinho are Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, FC Basel, Sunderland and staggeringly, Bradford City.

To become the sixth team on this prestigious list, City must play the perfect game and cannot afford to go behind, for fear of the Chelsea bus rolling into the penalty area.

It can be done, and the Bantams’ 4-2 win last week testified to that, despite the 48 places that separate the them.

This time there’s no David in sight – when these two Goliaths face off, City will endeavour to bring Chelsea to their knees come 7:30pm tonight.

Main image courtesy of Man City via YouTube, with thanks.

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