Fernandinho confident Manchester City can beat Chelsea without Yaya Toure

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Fernandinho insists Manchester City can beat Chelsea without Yaya Toure, despite the fact they've not won a single game since the Ivorian left for the African Cup of Nations.

Toure has missed his side's last three games due to his international commitments, and in his absence City could only manage a draw at Everton before defeat to Arsenal at home and the embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough.

Next up for Manuel Pellegrini's team is a visit to Premier League leaders Chelsea in what could prove to be a deciding factor in this year's title race.

Can City bridge the gap?

The trip to Stamford Bridge presents Pellegrini's side with a chance to close the gap at the top of the table to just two points, but should the home side reign supreme on Saturday they'll open up an eight point lead.

The reigning champions have already chased down such a gap once this season, but with games running out, it's hard to imagine Jose Mourinho's side being caught again.

Toure could yet be back in time to face the Blues should Ivory Coast fail to win their final group game against Cameroon, but Fernandinho is confident City have adequate replacements for the big midfielder.

Lampard's impact on City

While Toure has undoubtedly been one of the Premier League's best midfielders in recent seasons, one of his City teammates can claim to be one of the best in its entire history.

Frank Lampard earned legendary status at Chelsea and since his shock move to City, he's proved he's still got what it takes to play at the highest level.

And Fernandinho is confident that Lampard, alongside himself and City's other midfield options, can fill Toure's boots.

“Yaya is a great player and it would be foolish to say we don’t miss him - but at this club we have many great players," he told the Manchester Evenings News.

“We have others who can play in his position and do a great job as well. Whether it’s me, Frank, Fernando, James Milner or whoever, it doesn’t matter."

Can Fernando and Fernandinho link up?

Of that list, it's likely to be the two Brazilians who line up together this weekend, and not for the first time this season.

City's best performance on the road this campaign was the 2-0 victory over AS Roma that sealed qualification for the Champions League last 16. On that night the Brazilians paired up and Fernandinho was keen to point that out.

He said: "I think the best we played was the 2-0 win away in Roma. Fernando and I have a lot of similarities and we get on well together."

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