Football

Chelsea predicted XI v Manchester City

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Chelsea should be supremely confident ahead of their trip to Manchester City on Saturday evening.

Their second visit to the Etihad Stadium in a matter of weeks, their last encounter against the 2011/12 Premier League champions was extremely successful.

Although Chelsea only ran out 1-0 winners on that particular occasion, their performance was so dominant and so masterful that, despite the thoughts of one Jose Mourinho, it installed them as title favourites in the eyes of many.

This weekend, Chelsea return to Manchester City in a different capacity - the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The hosts' passage into the latter stages was secured with a late victory over Championship outfit Watford, while Chelsea emerged as 1-0 victors from their fourth-round clash against Mark Hughes' Stoke City at Stamford Bridge last month.

In terms of team news for the visitors, first-choice centre-backs John Terry and Gary Cahill are both expected to miss the game through injury.

As a result, Ashley Cole should surely come back into the side at left-back, with Cesar Azpilicueta swapping back over to right-back and Branislav Ivanovic moving over to partner David Luiz in the middle.

Apart from that, and with Spanish striker Fernando Torres having made his return from knee ligament problems as a substitute during the 1-1 draw with West Brom on Tuesday night, Chelsea appear to have almost a full squad available.

Given that Chelsea do not play the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Turkish champions Galatasaray until next week, it is difficult to predict if Mourinho will be tempted to make changes or field his strongest XI.

Personally, I think the Portuguese will tinker with his lineup. With the strength of the squad he has available at present, such changes do not really seem to weaken the team too much.

Chelsea predicted XI to face Manchester City on Saturday:

Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole; Lampard; Ramires; Salah; Hazard, Schurrle; Torres.

Do you agree? Given that this is a cup tie, obviously it's a difficult one to try and guess so feel free to leave your own lineups - for either team - below...

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Topics:
Fernando Torres
Manchester City
FA Cup
Chelsea
Football
Frank Lampard

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