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Barclays Premier League

 By Rory Smith

Diego Costa will remain controversial -- and indispensable -- for Chelsea

ESPN FC's Fernando Palomo delves deeper into the conundrum that is, Diego Costa following the Chelsea striker's recent charge for violent conduct.
ESPN FC's Fernando Palomo delves deeper into the conundrum that is, Diego Costa following the Chelsea striker's recent charge for violent conduct.
ESPN FC's Fernando Palomo delves deeper into the conundrum that is, Diego Costa following the Chelsea striker's recent charge for violent conduct.
ESPN FC's Fernando Palomo delves deeper into the conundrum that is, Diego Costa following the Chelsea striker's recent charge for violent conduct.

John Terry has a well-worn technique for getting his message across. You see it whenever the Chelsea captain takes to the pitch, but it always seems to stand out more in the sanitised surrounds of the Champions League than in the hurly-burly of domestic competition.

Terry is one of those central defenders who likes to introduce himself to a striker early on. It does not necessarily take the form of a reducer. He is cleverer, subtler than that -- a shoulder charge, or a collision of chests, something...

 By Ian Darke

Manuel Pellegrini must decide on Man City's approach vs. pragmatic Chelsea

ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes controlling David Silva is the key for Chelsea to beat Man City on Saturday in their big Premier League clash.
ESPN FC's experts discuss the implication of Diego Costa's potential suspension for Chelsea's crucial clash with Manchester City.

Manchester City are cornered tigers in this Premier League title race, and that makes them doubly dangerous as they aim to cut Chelsea's five-point lead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

After the 2-0 home losses to Arsenal in the league and Championship side Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, manager Manuel Pellegrini knows that another setback in this huge game would leave City's domestic campaign in tatters.

It would be hard to imagine Jose Mourinho's team surrendering an eight-point lead, should they...

By ESPN Staff
12 hours ago

Is Cuadrado a good fit for Chelsea?

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik analyses how Juan Cuadrado would fit within Chelsea's starting XI.

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Mark Payne Manchester Utd  By Mark Payne

Louis van Gaal's Manchester United not the same since Leicester loss

ESPN FC's Craig Burley reckons Manchester United are facing troubled times following their abject 0-0 draw away at League Two Cambridge.

Leicester's Jamie Vardy has a lot to answer for. In September, Angel Di Maria put Manchester United ahead 2-0 with a stunning lob and all looked right with the world.

Fast-forward an hour later and Vardy, a thorn in United's side that day but who has done nothing since, put Leicester ahead 5-3 and Louis van Gaal has not been the same since.

Prior to the Leicester debacle, Van Gaal's new signings Di Maria and Ander Herrera scored in a 4-0 thumping over QPR while Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo impressed...

Gus Poyet and Sunderland need strong home stand starting with Burnley

The arrival of Jermain Defoe was exciting for Sunderland fans, but unless the Black Cats figure out how to get the striker quality service his presence is mere window dressing.

And so we arrive at the first six pointer of the season, as a stumbling Sunderland side take on a Burnley team that has had a couple of blips of its own recently. Goal difference separates the two in the Premier League table prior to this game and it is feasible that the same will apply at teatime on Saturday.

SunderlandSunderland
BurnleyBurnley
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details

For the Wearsiders, this starts a run of three home games against clubs who are in the same predicament as they are and it is deemed essential by the support that this run starts with...