Manchester City and Chelsea, the bookmakers’ two favorites to win the English Premier League, meet at noon E.T. Sunday in a high-stakes affair at Stamford Bridge.
The two cash-rich clubs convene with Chelsea in second spot, a mere two points off the summit and Manchester City sitting in fourth place, just one back of the Blues.
As if their places in the table and standing in the global game didn’t provide enough intrigue, consider the following storylines:
Chelsea dominant at home, Manchester City struggle on the road
Chelsea has been in bustling form at home in the league, collecting maximum points in four contests and outscoring opponents 10-2. In fact, manager Jose Mourinho is yet to lose a home league match at Stamford Bridge in 64 career matches.
Meanwhile, Manchester City has collected 12 of its 16 points to date in home matches, and the Sky Blues are a different team on their English travels. They only won away from the Etihad for the first time last week in a 3-1 triumph against West Ham at Upton Park.
Teams look to build on Champions League success
Each side is coming off a big win in the UEFA Champions League in the midweek. Chelsea displayed its class in a 3-0 win against Schalke in Germany behind a Fernando Torres brace.
Manchester City overcame an early goal and difficult atmosphere to take three points in a 2-1 win at CSKA Moscow with Sergio Aguero using his head to log a double.
Both teams appear poised to advance to the Round of 16 after failing to accomplish the feat last term.
Mourinho, Pellegrini re-ignite their anything-but-plain rivalry from Spain
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will eye revenge again with Jose Mourinho, the man who replaced him at Real Madrid in 2010. The Chilean tactician faced the Special One’s Los Blancos side seven times while in charge of Malaga with Mourinho emerging the victor on five of those contests, twice wholly outclassing Pellegrini in 7-0 and 6-2 blowouts.
Now that Pellegrini has the horses to match Mourinho’s, he’ll be desperate to match his wits against his old foe.
Tim Howard to announce, first time active player provides live analysis
Everton and United States goalkeeper Tim Howard will make history off the field on Sunday when he steps into the broadcast booth to join NBC play-by-play man Arlo White in calling this contest. The bald, bearded shot-stopper plays for the Toffees on Saturday at Aston Villa and will transition to the role of analyst Sunday on NBC Sprots Network.
His insight should prove interesting as he’s played in England since 2003 and knows these two clubs extremely well. Everton has already played each team once, beating Chelsea 1-0 at Goodison Park and coming up short 1-3 against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.
This is new ground as a current player has never broadcast a game. Competitors surely will be interested to listen to his critiques. Will all the goals be the fault of defenders? Will he reveal any secrets? Will the 34-year-old carve out a job for himself when he takes off the gloves for the last time? Tune in and find out.
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