Manchester City manager predicts Chelsea title challenge this season
Manchester City and Chelsea lock horns at Villa Park on Sunday in the traditional curtain-raiser that is the Community Shield, with Roberto Mancini’s side favourites to lift the season’s first piece of silverware.
August 11th, 2012
However, the Italian is expecting Chelsea to offer some stern resistance to City’s hopes of retaining their Premier League title despite the fact that the Blues were a long way off the pace last season.
Mancini, who has spoken of his frustration at the lack of new signing, reckons that Chelsea will improve markedly on that sixth place position last season, with Roberto Di Matteo’s side only getting back into the Champions League by winning the competition.
“For sure (they will be more of a threat),” said Mancini.
“They have bought young players and also good players.”
“I said a lot of times that the Champions League is a really strange competition,” said Mancini.
“It is important you have a good team because you play against the best teams in the world.
“But you should also be lucky when you arrive from the moment you arrive in the quarter-final.
“Maybe Chelsea deserved to win the Champions League five years ago but they won it last year.”
Mancini has confirmed that Mario Balotelli and David Silva will be left out of the City team for Sunday’s match, with the Italian philosophical about the outcome.
“If in the end we win the Premier League it is better we lose against Chelsea,” said Mancini.
“But it is important that we try to win because we have not won this cup for a long time and we want to start the season with a victory.
“We know it will not be easy. Chelsea are a strong team.”