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Football | Barclays Premier League

City, Chelsea in must-win showdown



Manchester City will be looking to reignite their title challenge rather than focusing on preserving second spot when Chelsea visit the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The reigning champions' defence of their Premier League title has faltered in recent weeks and a run of three games without a win has seen City slip 15 points behind Manchester United.

Roberto Mancini was extremely critical of his players after the 3-1 defeat at Southampton in their last league game and he saw a positive response in the 4-0 victory over Leeds United in the FA Cup last weekend to maintain an impressive home record.

Only leaders United have won at the Etihad in the league this season and City have won the last three home games against Chelsea.

However, Chelsea had won nine of their previous 10 visits to City and another victory on Sunday would see Rafa Benitez's side move to within a point of second place.

Chelsea also have the second best away record in the top flight this season and Benitez will be hoping to build on reaching the fifth round of the FA Cup and last 16 of the Europa League in the past week.

A late surge for the title appears to be beyond Chelsea, but overhauling City for second is within reach and there is likely to be little to separate the teams on Sunday.

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