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Nic Ladds 26th Feb 2010 - 12:15

Battle of the Blues at the Bridge

Chelsea take on Manchester City in Saturday's early kick-off. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from disappointing defeats as Chelsea lost to Inter Milan in the Champions League and Man City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Stoke.

Chelsea (4/9) are unbeaten at home this season, they have won 12 and drawn one of their 13 home games, it really is a fortress at Stamford Bridge. Carlo Ancelotti's men can move four points clear at the top of the league should they win this game in hand, as Man Utd are busy in the Carling Cup final.

Man City (13/2) are not really living up to their hype this season as with the money they have spent, they are sat in fifth place and any hopes of a title challenge went long ago. Their home form is solid, unbeaten there all season - it is their away form that has let them down. They have won just one of their last 11 away league games.

Man City might have beaten Chelsea in December at the City of Manchester stadium but this fixture is an entirely different prospect. Their record against City is hard to argue against as in the last 11 meetings at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have won eight, drawn three, scored 24 goals and conceded just two.

All eyes will undoubtedly be on the Bridge v Terry battle but personally, I've had enough of that and it will be the football that I will be tuning in for. Don't forget to check our football specials page for various bets relating to their first competitive meeting.

Chelsea were dealt a cruel blow when Petr Cech was stretchered off in the Champions League defeat to Inter Milan. Ashley Cole and Yury Zhirkov will sit out which means Paulo Ferreira is most likely to slot in at left back. Frank Lampard missed the last league game with a virus but did play in Milan so should be fit for this match. Also doubtful are Alex, Deco, Belletti, Essien and Bosingwa.

Carlos Tevez should return from compassionate leave for City after returning home for the birth of his child. Patrick Vieira and Emanuel Adebayor are both suspended and Martin Petrov is injured.

For Chelsea, the big goalscoring threats are as always Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka (10/3 and 9/2 respectively for first goal). Frank Lampard isn't scoring as freely this season but still has 10 goals and is 5/1 first goal. If Joe Cole starts, he could be a fair bet for a goal at 8/1 first or 11/4 anytime.

Roberto Mancini is rarely consistent with his team selection, but you can expect Carlos Tevez to start up front, he is 8/1 first goal. If either Craig Bellamy or Roque Santa Cruz start the match, they are both 10/1 to get the first goal.

City have failed to score if their last seven visits to Stamford Bridge, but Tevez has scored in each of his last three league starts against Chelsea - all of these are for different teams so this could change.

This fixture last season ended in a 1-0 home win which is 9/2 to repeat itself. I think Chelsea will win but I can see City scoring, possibly 3-1 to Chelsea and at 10/1 - it represents some decent value.

If you are taking part in out Free Bets for Everyone promotion and are looking for some inspiration on the double result you can get 11/10 on Chelsea/Chelsea but I think the 10/3 on Draw/Chelsea is a bit more appealing.



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