Fri, Aug 14, 2015 - Page 20 News List

City seek early lift against Chelsea

Reuters, LONDON

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure, right, and Bacary Sagna celebrate scoring a goal during their game against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in Birmingham, England, on Monday.

Photo: EPA

The destination of the Premier League trophy will not be decided when champions Chelsea meet their immediate predecessors Manchester City on Sunday, but the winners will get a welcome psychological boost for the long campaign ahead.

The meeting between two of the main title contenders has come early in the season, but three points are three points whether they are won in August or May.

If Manchester City take the points, they will already be five clear of Chelsea, whereas last season they never got their noses in front of Jose Mourinho’s side.

City began their campaign with an easy 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Monday, with Yaya Toure looking back to his imperious best, scoring the best goal of the season so far with City’s second from the edge of the box.

Toure’s excellent display and an equally emphatic statement of intent from City’s captain Vincent Kompany were both in contrast to many of their performances last season.

“I know what I have to do and I don’t care what people say about me. I’m not back — I’ve always been there,” a defiant Toure said at the Hawthorns.

His manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has just signed a new deal with the club, did say Toure had problems last season following the death of his brother Ibrahim, when Toure struggled in matches against the top sides.

So he will be under scrutiny when Chelsea visit on Sunday.

Chelsea made an indifferent start with a 2-2 draw against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Petr Cech, Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper for much of the past decade, is now at Arsenal and he will be hoping to put his miserable debut for the Gunners to the back of his mind at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Cech was at fault for both goals as Arsenal were shocked 2-0 at home by West Ham United last weekend.

Palace go into the game after an impressive 3-1 win against promoted Norwich City.

Palace have only beaten Arsenal three times in 37 meetings since they first clashed more than 80 years ago and Arsenal have not lost a league match at Palace since 1979.

The weekend starts with the reintroduction of a televised night match tonight, with Aston Villa to meet Manchester United.

Both teams won their opening matches last weekend, so whoever wins today will go top, at least until the rest catch up tomorrow and on Sunday.

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