Toure, Mikel to Square off in Premiership Clash

22 Feb 2013

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 John Obi Mikel

Just less than a month after going head to head while representing their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations, Yaya Toure and John Obi Mikel will be on the opposite ends again when Manchester City hosts Chelsea at the Etihad on Sunday.

While Yaya went back straight into action following the Ivory Coast’s exit from the tournament, Mikel on the other hand is yet to make an appearance in the Premier League since winning the cup with Nigeria, while his compatriot Victor Moses was in the starting lineup in a recent cup game.

This top of the table clash will be crucial for both sides as they look to cement their place in the top three while also looking to keep their slim chances of catching up with log leaders Manchester United alive.

City are currently in second place with 53 points from their 26 games, 12 points behind the log leaders, while Chelsea are a further four points behind in third place.

While the defending champions managed to redeem themselves with a 4-0 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup over the weekend, they will still look to collect maximum points in the league following their 3-1 loss to Southampton in their last league outing.

Argentine forward Sergio Aguero, who netted a brace against Leeds, believes the win came in the nick of time ahead of a tough fixture against the Blues.

"This helped us to do things well and give us confidence for the Chelsea game,” said Aguero. “It will be a good match, difficult, but obviously we need to go out and win.

"I think against Southampton none of us played well and it was a bad day for us all - an error which we hope not to repeat.

"We will try not to lose any more points in the league so we can keep all three points.”

Chelsea will also be confident going into this clash having thumped Wigan Athletic 4-1 in the league before thrashing Brentford 4-0 in the FA Cup.

However, the Blues also had a trip to the Czech Republic for their Europa League tie against Sparta Prague in-between the games, with the return leg taking place on Thursday night, just three days before the trip to Manchester.

However, Cahill believes they have enough experience to cope with playing crucial fixtures in such a short space of time as they look to edge closer to City on the log standings.

"I think we've obviously got a huge game Thursday, and then a massive game on Sunday," Cahill said.

"If we get a positive result on Sunday then that opens it right back up.

"We're taking it one game at a time but we'll be looking to do that on Sunday.

"It'll be tough game away from home, but if we do get a positive result then obviously second place is within touching distance."

When the two sides met at Stamford Bridge earlier this season the match ended in a 0-0 draw in what was Rafa Benitez’ first game in charge after taking over the reins from Roberto Di Matteo.

Tags: Sports, Nigeria, Featured, TOURE, PREMIERSHIP, Clash

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