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City of Manchester Stadium
Manchester City return to the Etihad Stadium after their latest bout of travel sickness undermined Roberto Mancini’s push for the title. A 1-0 defeat at Swansea last time out saw Manchester United replace them at the summit. City boast a perfect record of 14 wins from as many matches at home this term, a run at odds with two victories in six on their travels that began with a 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge in December. Chelsea have been in great form under caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo and have a 100% record since Roman Abramovich took the decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas. Wins in their last four games in all competitions is their best run since September and the incredible comeback against Napoli in the Champions League has ensured there is a buzz around the club.
• Victory for Manchester City would see them set a Premier League record of 20 consecutive home wins. They would also become only the fourth team in top-flight history to achieve that feat following Liverpool (21) in 1972, Newcastle (20) in 1906-07 and Preston (20) in 1891-92.
• Roberto Mancini's side were beaten by Swansea in their last league game, they have not suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats since losing to Arsenal and Wolves in October 2010.
• Chelsea have failed to win any of their last four away in the league - losing the last two without scoring. They have not lost three successive league away games in the same season since December 2002-January 2003.
Carlos Tevez could be included in the Manchester City squad for the first time since September. Roberto Mancini is hoping that Vincent Kompany passes a late fitness test on his calf injury for the visit of Chelsea, with Joleon Lescott now set to miss out once again. Elsewhere, Pablo Zabaleta and Gareth Barry are both fit again and will be included.
Chelsea will be without skipper John Terry who is feeling the effects of playing two games in four days following a return from knee surgery. Di Matteo has a fully fit squad to pick from and must decide whether to stick with Fernando Torres up front, after his two goals at the weekend, or whether to recall Didier Drogba.
J Hart • M Richards, K Tourè, S Savic, G Clichy • Y Tourè, G Barry • J Milner, S Aguero, D Silva • M Balotelli
P Cech • B Ivanovic, G Cahill, D Luiz, A Cole • M Essien, F Lampard • D Sturridge, J Mata, Ramires • D Drogba