Seven draws in a row is a club record that Mark Hughes will dearly want to end as soon as possible and victory over former club Chelsea is likely to go a long way to securing his future at Eastlands. City will be in buoyant mood after reaching their first cup semi-final since 1981 but face the league leaders who have won their last five games - and not conceded in any of them - on their way to establishing a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Quick Check

Manchester City

  • Winger Shaun Wright-Phillips is expected to overcome an ankle problem to play against his old side.
  • Bulgarian Martin Petrov could return after two weeks out with a sprained knee.
  • Robinho scored his debut goal for City in the corresponding fixture last season.
  • City are still unbeaten at Eastlands this term but have drawn their last three games.
  • Defender Pablo Zabaleta is struggling with injury.
  • Mark Hughes’ side has drawn a club record seven successive league matches.
  • City have conceded in nine of their last ten Premier League fixtures.
  • Hughes’ team has scored just once in their last eight meetings with Chelsea.

Chelsea

  • Left back Ashley Cole is expected to overcome a hamstring strain to start.
  • Leading scorer Didier Drogba has scored 11 goals in 13 Premier League appearances this season.
  • The Blues have kept clean sheets in six of their last seven league games.
  • arlo Ancelotti’s side has won their last five Premier League fixtures without conceding a goal.
  • Chelsea have won the last eight meetings between the two teams.
  • Striker Salomon Kalou is out for a fortnight with a torn thigh muscle.
  • Brazilian defender Alex is struggling to overcome a hip problem.
  • Full back Jose Bosingwa is out until the New Year after knee surgery.

Expert Advice

Robinho announced himself to City’s fans with a brilliant free-kick in this game last season and how the home fans would love for lightning to strike twice. Mark Hughes has spent big in the meantime but his star-studded team has spluttered and struggled to deliver in the last two months. If ever there was a game for them to rise to the challenge, this is it as they encounter their toughest test of the season against Chelsea. The league leaders’ ruthless victory at Arsenal sent a message to the rest of the league that they are the team to beat this term and, with leading scorer Didier Drogba inspired at the moment and leading from the front, City’s unbeaten record at home looks under threat. Predicting the result looks tricky with Hughes’ team possessing more than enough attacking weapons to worry the Blues, so Betsson’s price of 1.85 for there to be over 2.5 goals appears a sound bet.

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