Will Jose Mourinho leave the Etihad Stadium a winner again?

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho may have some of the world's most exciting footballers at his disposal at Stamford Bridge, but that won't stop him focussing on his side's ability to defend against Manchester City in this weekend's title showdown.

There's nothing wrong with that, though. Mourinho knows when and how to play ugly, and he knows just what it takes to get the job done. From parking busses to playing lethal counter attacking football, Mourinho always has something up his sleeve - especially in the big games.

Expect something special from the 'Special One' once again on Sunday...

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Last season 

In last season's campaign, Jose Mourinho won the battle against Manuel Pellegrini, but it was the Citizens boss who ultimately won the war. Chelsea may well have done the double over the Sky Blues, but it was Pellegrini - and not Mourinho - who had his hands on the Premier League trophy in May. 

But, over a 90 minute period, the Stamford Bridge outfit seemingly have the better of their fellow moneybags. Back in October 2013, it was Fernando Torres - now of Milan - who struck a last minute winner to help Chelsea to a 2-1 win over City. 

However, it was the Blues' impressive win at the Etihad that really caught the eye last term. Heading into the game, Pellegrini's side had secured 11 wins out of 11 on home soil, but Mourinho outsmarted his rival, and ultimately left with all three points back in February of this year. 

On that night, Chelsea really proved their title credentials despite Mourinho's insistence that his side weren't ready to compete for England's ultimate prize. In a strange turn of events, there appeared to be an acceptance from the Portuguese tactician that his side wouldn't win the league last season despite the fact that they were good enough to beat the big-boys. 

This season, however, Mourinho won't be so accepting if his team fail in their bid to land the title. He's put together a team ready to overhaul Manchester City and Co. and he will be determined to win the battle and the war this time out.


With the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois now plying their trade at the Bridge, Mourinho's side have got off to a flyer on the domestic scene. 

The Blues have made light work of their opponents this term, having scored 15 goals in just four games. It hasn't been the toughest of openings for the Blues, but a 6-3 win away in Merseyside at Everton was quite impressive. 

City, meanwhile, have endured a difficult start to the season and haven't won a game in their last three outings in all competitions. Domestically, a defeat at home to Stoke was followed up with a draw at the Emirates against Arsenal, while the club also went down in Germany to Bayern Munich in mid-week.

But all eyes will be back on the Premier League this weekend, and of course, there's no reason to suggest that the winner of this game will eventually go on to win the title, but it's a game that both managers won't want to lose. 

Mourinho, in his press conference ahead of Sunday's clash, has already played down the contest, but admitted that every point is crucial against rival opposition.

He told reporters: "It's one more game and three more points but when matches are between title contenders, every point makes a difference. We know what it's like to win there and lose there. I watched last season's games to identify the differences."

Mourinho's plotting and planning, and there's no doubt that him and his players will be ready for the battle on Sunday. 

Midfield trio will be key 

But where will the game be won and lost this weekend as two of England's power-houses come together? 

In truth, all eyes ahead of the game will be on the two superstar strikers: Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero. That, of course, is not surprising as the pair are without a doubt two of the best forwards in world football. 

Aguero was wisely rested against Bayern, meaning he should start this weekend, while Costa was also placed on the bench in the Champions League after his awesome start to the campaign, so he will be rearing to go. The pair, though, will have their toughest games yet this term as they come up against the likes of John Terry, Vincent Kompany and Co. in the two clubs' back-lines. 

The strikers may well have a huge say in the contest, but it's in midfield where this clash could really be decided. One year ago, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic weren't even Chelsea players, but now they are the driving force of Mourinho's team. 

They accommodate each other perfectly; Fabregas is given the licence to roam forward as he's let off the leash and Matic holds the shape of the Blues side. But, expect them to be joined by Brazilian ace Ramires at the Etihad on Sunday. Mourinho will be determined to win the midfield battle, and with the legs of Fabregas, Matic and Ramires, they will prove hard to stop. 

The Blues boss will be well aware that his side have the beating of City in the middle of the park. After all, City's main man in the midfield department, Yaya Toure, doesn't currently look at his ultimate best.  

The trio then can dominate the likes of Toure and Co. in midfield area and let the likes of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa wreak havoc against the City back-line.

If Chelsea can make it five wins from five on Sunday, then Pellegrini and Co. will have some job on their hands to stop them despite the season being just one month old. 

Chelsea fans: Do you think your club will secure all three points this weekend? Can Mourinho do it again in the Premier League against City? Have your say in the comments section below! 

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