The best game of the weekend will have two teams desperate for a win, when Chelsea and Manchester City clash for the 5th round of the FA Cup, this Sunday at Stamford Bridge at 16:00.
It might be reckless to say both of these teams are in a must win situation, but the reality is they haven’t had the best week. City lost to Tottenham last weekend and stay behind in the fight for the EPL title, and Chelsea saw their first loss of the season under Guus Hiddink in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Which team needs this win the most? Probably Chelsea.
The Blues have not shot at the EPL tittle and it will be hard for them to get a spot in Europe next season. Their best shot comes precisely by trying to win the FA Cup and at least get to the Europa League.
Chelsea played poorly against PSG on Tuesday and lost 2-1 in the UCL. It was their first defeat since the Dutch manager took over in the midseason.
“We had to reshuffle, of course, given we were without Terry and [Kurt] Zouma, and with our full-backs in different positions, but I was happy with their performance and generally with our defensive discipline. Apart from the second goal,” Hiddink mentioned. “You have to stay alert all the time and that was an example of an error slipping in. PSG have a nose for creating danger and know where you are most weak.”
A 2-1 loss in an away game in the Champions League is not the end of the world. However, Chelsea know they are not favorites in the series. Just like they are not the favorites, in the eyes of many, when they face Manchester City this Sunday.
The FA Cup Betting Odds listed the Blues at 2.1 to win and advance, but it’s mostly because they will play at home. Manchester City will pay 3.4 if they get the victory on the road and the draw is at 3.4.
City’s loss against Tottenham last weekend was their second in a row against an EPL title contender, after losing to Leicester 1-3 the week before. Both defeats came at home, which makes them harder to comprehend.
“My way is to try and play in every competition with the best team,” Man City manager Pellegrini said in the Press Conference. “I think it [the FA Cup] is a serious competition and not a competition you can throw away. But at this moment, with so many injured players and the chance to try and get to the Champions League quarter-final for the first time, I think it’s a case where we are going to prioritize.
Man City destroyed Chelsea with a 3-0 score when they meet early in August. A lot have changed since then, and despite neither is on a good streak, Chelsea seems to have a slightly better momentum. Take the Blues to win by one score.