Manchester City left to lick wounds in mixed XI with Chelsea

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Although in theory Manchester City will still have abundant time to make up an eight-point deficit to Chelsea, a loss at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s evening kick-off would feel very much like the champions relinquishing their Premier League crown.

The odds compilers at Ladbrokes certainly make the assumption Chelsea are best-placed to take the spoils, pricing them at 21/20, with the Citizens pegged back at 13/5 and the draw a 5/2 compromise.

It’s not just that Man City have only earned a single point in their last four top-flight visits to west London which tends to support the match odds either.

Robbed of midfield driving force Yaya Toure, currently representing Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations, Manuel Pellegrini’s men are in the midst of a January slump.

After suffering a home loss to Arsenal in the league, Championship Middlesbrough rubbed some FA Cup-flavoured salt in the wounds at the Etihad last time out.

Meanwhile, Chelsea swiftly overcame their own FA Cup trauma by booking a place in the Capital One Cup final at Liverpool’s expense in midweek.

The final piece of bad news for the champions ahead of this colossal clash (which requires none of the fluffing Sky Sports’ producers will be doling out in montage form), is only three of their players make it into the latest combined XI from News.Ladbrokes.

Do you agree, or will Pellegrini and his City side have the last laugh?

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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