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Manchester City

Frank Lampard ready for Chelsea return

50-50 Challenge
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50-50 Challenge: City vs. Arsenal

Premier League
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50-50 Challenge: Chelsea vs. Man City & Frank Lampard's return

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini praised the quality of Frank Lampard after the midfielder scored the winner against Sunderland.

Frank Lampard returns to Chelsea for the first time since leaving them for Manchester City this Saturday as the champions take on Jose Mourinho's men in a crucial clash at Stamford Bridge.

It was rather surreal to see Lampard, clad in sky Blue, score against Chelsea for City earlier in the season -- the equaliser in a 1-1 draw that could yet turn out to be pivotal in the title race.

He has netted seven goals for Manuel Pellegrini's men this season and would you really put it past him adding to...

 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...

Zabaleta-Ivanovic duel the main subplot in Chelsea vs. Manchester City

The ESPN FC crew discuss Manchester City's 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough, for which Steve Nicol believes their trip to Abu Dhabi was to blame.

A title decider has a subplot in the quest to be the best. Chelsea and Manchester City contest the silverware, Branislav Ivanovic and Pablo Zabaleta vie for an unofficial honour. They are the Premier League's two outstanding right-backs. Not necessarily over the case of this campaign, because Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne has been a revelation, or last campaign, when Everton's Seamus Coleman was a formidable attacking presence, but over several seasons. Ivanovic and Zabaleta display a brand of...

A history of the Premier League's genuinely title-deciding showdowns

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.

Jose Mourinho may be unwilling to talk about it, having cancelled his pre-game news conference on account of the violent conduct charge for Diego Costa, but it's not like Chelsea-Manchester City will be lacking in build-up this weekend. As tends to be the case with these modern fixtures, it has already been described as the season's key match, and a potentially defining meeting for the Premier League title.

There's little doubt that such showdowns can involve a lot of drama, and reveal plenty about...

 By Chris Wright

Frank Lampard in the moon? One City fan's big bet vs. Chelsea

One moonstruck Manchester City fan has lumped a not-inconsiderable amount of money on Frank Lampard to score against former club Chelsea on Saturday after apparently witnessing an omen in the night sky above London.

Kieran O'Brien has bet on Lampard -- who equalised for City in the 1-1 draw between the two teams earlier this season -- to score first this time around when the two title rivals face off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening. The reason? He reckons he's seen Lampard's face in the moon.

 By David Mooney

Write Manchester City off at your peril as Pellegrini plots Chelsea downfall

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley believes Manchester City's loss to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup was deserved as Manuel Pellegrini's side travelled to the Middle East and arrived back far too close to their weekend clash.

It's not even 10 years ago that Manchester City's motto would have been better as "Wallow in self-pity" rather than "pride in battle." Only City could mess up in ways previously unknown to the sport.

There was no reason for the fans to think that a bad run of form would come to an end -- and it was always a surprise when they went away from home and put three past a slightly better team.

Maybe it's wishful thinking based on a flimsy string of recent evidence, but there's been a shift at Eastlands...