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Terry absence can boost Man City ahead of crucial Chelsea clash

| 21.03.2012

Eastlands is the venue for a crucial Premier League fixture tonight, as Manchester City aim to get their title challenge back on track by beating Chelsea at 17/20.

The game could define not only City’s title charge, for which they are 15/8 to succeed in, but Chelsea’s bid for a top four finish also, and so the significant injury troubles of either side will be a worry to managers Roberto Mancini and Roberto Di Matteo.

Chelsea will be without skipper John Terry, for whom two games in four days will prove too much in the midst of his recent surgery to aid a troublesome knee.

The home side will also be missing key defenders, with Joleon Lescott ruled out with a groin strain, whilst captain Vincent Kompany is a doubt as his calf problem persists.

With such colossal defensive figures expected to be absent from proceedings, it looks as though each side could capitalise on the more fragile backlines on show, and so it could be worth backing the 8/11 for both teams to score in the match.

Higher up the pitch, Gareth Barry is expected to recover from a back problem to take his place in the starting line-up, whilst Carlos Tevez, who hasn’t played a first team game since October, is expected to be named amongst the City substitutes.

Even after his FA Cup brace over Leicester at the weekend, Fernando Torres could be relegated to the bench for the Blues, and will be desperate to continue on the goal trail should he be introduced.

Last season, this fixture was settled by a solitary Tevez goal, and the Argentinian, whom Mancini has proclaimed won’t play more than “20 or 25 minutes,” is 4/1 to score first or last in the match.

Torres is 7/1 to achieve the same feat for Champions League-chasing Chelsea and both of these look tempting bets.



John Klee