Cheslea host Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round tie on Sunday knowing this is probably their best chance of winning any silverware this season (live on US TV on FOX Sports 2 from Sunday 11am ET).
The Blues have not been at their best this season by their standards but they still have a decent chance of finishing the campaign on a high if they manage success in the FA Cup or the Champions League.
They were beaten 2-1 in the first leg of their midweek Champions League tie at PSG but history has shown that 48% of the teams who have lost the first leg 2-1 away from home in the competition have gone on to progress, so that bodes well for Guus Hiddink’s men.
The FA Cup is probably the more realistic chance of success, so you can be sure Chelsea will field their strongest team for this fixture against a faltering City side who have seen their Premier League title charge go up in flames in recent weeks.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have lost back-to-back league matches against title contenders Leicester City and Tottenham, which has seen them drop to fourth in the table, six points behind the leaders Leicester.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Citizens. After this game, they travel to Russia to play Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League before playing in the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool, all in the space of a week.
The tough fixture schedule has prompted Pellegrini to suggest that he might field a weakened side for this game since the Champions League match and Capital One Cup final take priority over this fixture.
Hiddink confirmed in his press conference in Friday that only John Terry and Radamel Falcao are unavailable for selection. It remains to be seen if the Dutchman will persist with Eden Hazard in the starting XI after the Belgian put in another half-hearted performance in Paris on Tuesday.
City will likely rest a host of their regular starters such as Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany, amongst others. Teenage star Kelechi Iheanacho is likely to feature from the start as well as several other fringe players.
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