ManCity will host Chelsea in top game of the week on Sunday, February 24th

23/02/2013 no comments »
ManCity will host Chelsea in top game of the week on Sunday, February 24th

Most attention on Sunday will be focused on The Capital One cup final between Swansea and Bradford in what has been a year for the underdogs in the competition and will display a final that no one could have predicted in their wildest dreams at the beginning of the competition. However, it isn’t the only big game that will be taking place on Sunday as there is also plenty of Premier League action with the pick of the day being the current English champions Manchester City going head to head with European champions Chelsea.

It’s a lunch time kick off which promises to be packed with excitement in a clash between second and third in the table as both teams are desperate for the three points if their quest to catch Manchester United has any realistic chance of happening. It won’t just be the fans who are desperate to win Sundays game but also a couple of nervous managers from both sides. Both Mancini and Benitez are under a lot of pressure despite their sides both being within the top three and have been in the media’s firing line over the past few weeks.

Mancini has claimed in recent weeks that he is “the best manager in England” and after signing a five year contract last July claims he is confident he will not be sacked. Although an embarrassing upset in his last Premier League match when City lost 3-1 to Southampton who are battling relegation raised concerns from some fans and questions over the Italians future just won’t go away. Since then the Champions have restored some pride after last week’s 5-0 thumping of Leeds in the FA cup has now made them favourites to win the competition. A win this weekend would see them steer 7 points away from Chelsea and would surely fend off more doubts over Mancini’s future at the club.

Benitez on the other hand has never had the fans taken to him since the first day he stepped foot in the job and has had critics on his back almost every step of the way in his Chelsea career so far. Despite this, the European champions have been in some form under Benitez in recent weeks, being unbeaten in their last four games after winning 3 games in 3 different competitions in the space of a week. Since then a last minute equalizer in Thursday night’s Europa league game has seen Chelsea qualify for the last 16 and has made them favourites to go on and win a second European competition in successive seasons. Benitez has also came out and said this week that Chelsea will finish in the top two. If he was able to bring the Europa League trophy to Stanford Bridge and a top two finish it may be enough to begin to win fans over and earn a permanent contract come the end of the season – in spite of this seeming impossible just a month or two ago.

However, being already 4 points behind City in second means that Sundays game is a must win as failure to do so could effectively rule out a top two finish. So can Chelsea shake off their European fatigue to earn an impressive away win against the champions? One thing for sure is whichever team loses their manager is likely to receive a headache from the media putting pressure on their future at the clubs.

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