Preview: Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Mark Hughes has doubts over Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland ahead of Manchester City‘s encounter with Chelsea at Eastlands on Saturday.

The pair both picked up knee injuries in Wednesday’s Carling Cup win over Arsenal and are rated as extremely doubtful.

Vladimir Weiss, who scored his first senior goal in midweek, is also unlikely to figure after being laid low by tonsillitis but Martin Petrov and Nigel de Jong should be available after missing out on the Arsenal triumph.

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will return for the Blues’ match with Premier League rivals Manchester City at Eastlands on Saturday.

Cole (hamstring) was missing from Wednesday’s Carling Cup loss at Blackburn but will return to a starting XI that is likely to include several changes from the Blackburn defeat.

Salomon Kalou (thigh), Daniel Sturridge (knee), Alex (hip) and Jose Bosingwa (knee) are all unavailable.


Manchester City (from): Given, Taylor, Richards, Zabaleta, Toure, Lescott, Onuoha, Bridge, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, De Jong, Kompany, Johnson, Ireland, Barry, Robinho, Bellamy, Petrov, Adebayor, Tevez, Santa Cruz, Benjani.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, Ivanovic, A Cole, Zhirkov, Carvalho, Terry, Essien, Lampard, Belletti, Mikel, Ballack, Malouda, Kakuta, Deco, J Cole, Anelka, Drogba.