GB looks forward to Blues clash

City may travel to Stamford Bridge as leaders of the Barclays

Premier League but Barry has noted the Londoners’ return to form

over the past week. Chelsea followed up a win at Newcastle by

producing their best performance of the season on Tuesday to crush

Valencia and qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League. City,

by contrast, endured the disappointment of elimination from that

competition but Barry feels spirits are still high after at least

beating Bayern Munich in the final group fixture. Barry said: “It

is set up for a great game on Monday. “They have picked their form

up and have had two great performances and two big wins. “We were

watching them on Tuesday, they played some great stuff. “It is

going to be a tough game for us at Stamford Bridge, it always is.

“We are disappointed after Wednesday but we won the game so we can

still go into the Chelsea game with confidence.” Monday’s game is

followed by a home clash with another of the Premier League’s

giants in Arsenal. With an imposing January schedule ahead – which

includes three games against Liverpool and further dates with

Manchester United and Tottenham across three competitions –

ambitious City are entering a critical phase. January will be made

tougher by the loss of midfield inspiration Yaya Toure – as well as

his defensive brother Kolo – due to the African Nations Cup.

Manager Roberto Mancini believes his team will take some stopping

if they can come through that period unscathed. Mancini said: “We

have done well but the season is long. “Now we have two difficult

games against Chelsea and Arsenal. “I have said before the next two

months will be important months. “Yaya is an important player for

us – we don’t have any other players like Yaya. “We will probably

lose an important man for one month at a crucial moment. “For this

reason I think if we do well in January, and we are top after

January, it will be difficult to lose.”