Man City v Chelsea preview
Man City's title bid could be handed a timely boost against Chelsea, with Carlos Tevez set to be welcomed back from the Premier League wilderness.
Last Updated: 21/03/12 5:03pm
Manchester City's title bid could be handed a timely boost against Chelsea, with Carlos Tevez set to be welcomed back from the Premier League wilderness.
The Argentine striker has not figured for City since suffering a now infamous falling-out with manager Roberto Mancini during a UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich in September.
He has spent much of the time since then back in his homeland, but there is every chance he could be welcomed back into the fold on Wednesday night after working hard on his fitness since returning to England.
City will be hoping the presence of their former skipper inspires them to a vital victory, with defeat at Swansea last time out seeing them slip from the Premier League summit.
Tevez has notched six times in his last five top flight appearances against Chelsea and Mancini will be tempted to unleash his South American striker on the Blues in midweek.
City have failed to find the target in 13 of their last 19 league games against Chelsea, but have netted in four of the last five.
Mancini's men have also taken maximum points from their last 19 top flight fixtures at the Etihad Stadium and will set a new Premier League record if they are successful on Wednesday.
Chelsea's recent record on the road suggests there is every chance that City will make history.
The Blues have won only one of their last seven league games away from home, picking up just seven points during that run.
They are, however, yet to stumble under the guidance of Roberto Di Matteo, with the Italian having guided the club to four straight wins in all competitions since inheriting the reins on an interim basis on the back of Andre Villas-Boas' departure.
A fifth victory in midweek would see Chelsea keep pace with the Premier League's top four, with it possible that they could clamber back into the UEFA Champions League places if results work in their favour.
Manchester City are expected to name Tevez among their substitutes on Wednesday, with the Argentine forward having been back in training for five weeks now.
City have central defensive problems, though, with Joleon Lescott (groin) out and Vincent Kompany (calf) very doubtful.
On a more positive note, right-back Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) and midfielder Gareth Barry (back) are fit.
John Terry will miss Chelsea's trip to the North West.
Blues captain Terry has been feeling the strain of playing twice in four days following his remarkable recovery from knee surgery.
Caretaker manager Di Matteo is confident the defender will be fit for Saturday's game with Tottenham.
Possible starting XIs
Man City: Hart, Richards, Savic, K Toure, Clichy, Milner, Barry, Y Toure, Silva, Aguero, Balotelli.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Lampard, Essien, Ramires, Mata, Drogba, Torres.