This week's hot ticket is at Stamford Bridge. Isn't it always?
Tabloid fodder? There's Brave John Terry and Wayne Bridge. Human interest? Carlos Tevez. Job openings? Mancini on the chopping block (already?). Good ol' football? Chelsea attempting to inch closer to a league title.
This one, my friends, has it all.
Umm, this is awkward.
The what: English Premier League, round 28 - Chelsea v. Manchester City
The where: Stamford Bridge (41,841)
The when: Feb. 27, 12:30pm local time (7:30am EST)
The how: ESPN2 (Dish 144, DirecTV 209)
The referee: The Dean, Mike Dean.
Position: Fifth (46 points)
Team (22): Given, Taylor, Bridge, Lescott, Kompany, Richards, Zabaleta, Barry, De Jong, Ireland, Bellamy, Tevez, Touré, Onuoha, Boyata, Ireland, A. Johnson, Vieira, Sylvinho, Ibrahim, Garrido, Santa Cruz
Doubtful: Santa Cruz (knee), Touré (knee)
Injured: Ball (foot), Petrov (knee), M. Johnson (knee)
Leading scorer: Tevez 13
It's 3:47am EST. I'm tired. So let's wrap this up.
The honeymoon for Mancini is over. Well, it's been over for some time. City are coming off a 3-1 defeat to Stoke in extra time, their fourth consecutive match without a win. Then there is Tevez, who is back in England after spending time in Argentina dealing with the premature birth -- and problems stemming from -- of his daughter. Our thoughts go out to the Tevez family. Whether he's physical or mentally ready (unlikely) is unsure.
There's also revenge on the table. That 2-1 loss at City in December, I doubt BJT & Co. have forgotten it.
Overall, it's not looking too bright for the Citizens.
Position: First (61 points)
Team (22): Hilario, Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Carvalho, Ferreira, Alex, Hutchinson, Bruma, Lampard, Ballack, Mikel, Malouda, Deco, Matic, J. Cole, Kalou, Drogba, Anelka, Sturridge, Kakuta, Borini
Doubtful: Deco (knee)
Injured (what a list): Bosingwa (knee), Essien (knee), Zhirkov (calf), Cech (calf), A. Cole (ankle)
Leading scorer: Drogba 19
We need a win. What else needs to be said?