Stuttering Chelsea face Birmingham testDecember 24th, 2009 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS
London, Dec 24 (DPA) Since beating Arsenal at the end of November Chelsea have won just one game out of six in all competitions, and the fact they stand four points clear at the top of the table is more down to the failing of others than their own form.
They will be tested again Saturday as they face one of the form sides of the Premier League, Birmingham City, who are unbeaten in eight matches.
“We will be trying to make it a tough test for Chelsea,” McLeish said. “We have enough about us to give them a tough game.
“At St Andrews we’ve a good chance of beating anyone. Make no mistake, we will be trying to beat Chelsea.
“They’re a top team with world-class players but we have to go for it. We want to give them as big a fright as we can and I am only thinking about that game.”
Chelsea, already suffering the absence of Michael Essien, will also be without injured striker Nicola Anelka.
Second-placed Manchester United travel to Hull City Sunday, looking to bounce back from successive defeats, but still without eight defenders.
“It’s a crucial time,” said left-back Patrice Evra, the only first-choice defender left fit.
“We lost against Aston Villa and Fulham but the target is to win every game we can from now on.
“We always do well in this period and now, more than ever, we need victories.”
Hull are unbeaten in six home games, but will be without injured midfielders Jimmy Bullard and Nick Barmby.
Arsenal, six points back in third but with a game in hand, face a Sunday test at home to Aston Villa, who lie fourth having gone unbeaten in seven league game.
“This is a big test but the confidence is flying at the moment and we have proved we can do well against the big teams,” said winger Stewart Downing. “We are not fearing anyone.”
Liverpool could hand midfielder Alberto Aquilani a debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers, if he has recovered from the calf injury that kept him out of the 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth last week.
Roberto Mancini will take charge of his first game as Manchester City manager at home to Stoke City.
“What we cannot afford to do is get wrapped up in the circus that will be going on at Man City this weekend and leading up to the game,” Stoke manager Tony Pulis told the Sentinel.
Tottenham Hotspur travel to Fulham in a battle of London’s two in-form sides, both of whom have aspirations of qualifying for Europe.
- Rooney kept out of England squad for Spain, Sweden friendlies - Nov 07, 2011
- Leeds rewarded with trip to Spurs - Jan 04, 2010
- Manchester City top Premier League as Bolton takes emotional win - Mar 25, 2012
- Manchester United bounce back to go joint - Dec 16, 2009
- Holman agrees Aston Villa deal - Mar 13, 2012
- Last-minute thrillers render Chelsea win, Arsenal loss - Jan 03, 2012
- Lambert appointed Villa manager - Jun 02, 2012
- Chelsea thrash Wigan to lift Premier League title - May 10, 2010
- Manchester United stay in hunt as Chelsea suffer setback - Dec 27, 2011
- United, Chelsea maintain pace as Arsenal stumble - Mar 28, 2010
- Chelsea and Arsenal look to boost title challenges - Feb 25, 2010
- Manchester City draw in Premier League - Apr 01, 2012
- Fan who backed Premier League underdogs lands bet - Jan 03, 2012
- Chelsea and Man Utd determined to avoid another slip-up - Dec 17, 2009
- Chelsea lose at home to Villa - Jan 01, 2012
Tags: aston villa, birmingham city, calf injury, dec 24, four points, fulham, home games, hull city, jimmy bullard, league game, mcleish, michael essien, midfielder, nick barmby, six points, stewart downing, target, united travel, winger, wolverhampton wanderers