Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea is surely to be the moment of truth of the 2013/14 English Premier League. I write as a layfan. Like Arsene Wenger said, the league is decided in May and not in February and football is played by humans and not machines. He alludes to the human errors and emotions involved and the fragility of the match outcomes as a result.
That is exactly what I should be telling you, if I am not fanatical. The thing is that, the more things change, the more they remain the same. The winner of the clash of these two rich giants will determine the title champion. Wenger says that because Arsenal are on top and wish for a draw or City loss. His predictions are for the City victory and for the same reason I say Chelsea and Arsenal have no chance against the Citizens.
As much as the Gunners are at the summit, their hanging there by the thread is there for both Chelsea and City to feel. Nobody expected them to enter the transfer market this January, neither do you expect them at any time. They however dealt a cautious but misplaced transaction of a player who cannot be used right away. He joins Ramsey and Jack Wilshire on the sidelines before he trains. It was a genuine mistake that he got injured somewhere in between and that is exactly my point. You can never bank on Arsenal at any time for anything.
The obvious fire-power of City is seen by many as one that tilts the balance in their favour. It is rather the lack of touch, style and presence of the Blues that steals it for me. There is not much character in that team, no threat to talk about, when you consider big occasion. Do not get me wrong. Edin Hazard, Oscar, Ramirez, and Eto’o are great players. The issue with me is that they never turn up all at once. City on the other side, are always there week in and week out.
Chelsea will have to dig deep to stop the marauding City attack. They will have to dig deeper to cross the centre line. To score will always be asking too much. This is not something you can worry about when City play teams below them in matches of less interest. This is because Chelsea cannot afford to lose ground on their rivals. They will not be willing to be the ones dishing out points. It is based on that understanding that good teams beat fellow contenders.
It is just a few minutes before kick-off and soon we will find how true the Chelsea challenge is.