As title races go, this year could yield one of the tightest yet with Chelsea looking to add another twist in the tale against Manchester City this Sunday.
Maurizio Sarri and his squad travel to the Etihad Stadium, aware an away victory will perpetrate Pep Guardiola’s plans of snatching the Premier League’s top spot from Liverpool whilst also helping to cement a Champions League place for themselves.
City’s manager made a point in suggesting Chelsea could still be in the running for the Premier League crown; this accompanied by the Blues most recent 2-0 triumph over Guardiola will certainly provide the London club with courage.
After hammering Huddersfield Town, can Chelsea bounce back once more or will they crumble against a City side on a mission?
Before this mammoth collision, we have delved into the archives to locate three forwards that have featured for both Chelsea and Manchester City during their careers.
Daniel Sturridge (Manchester City 2006-2009, Chelsea 2009-2013)
Oh what could have for been Daniel Sturridge, had he not suffered several injury setbacks. These hindrances weren’t fathomable as a fresh and healthy fledgling joined Manchester City’s academy at the age of 13.
After dazzling in his age range, it seemed appropriate to switch Sturridge into senior football, gaining his full debut in 2007 against Reading. His moment was only marginal, returning to the youth team to build up minutes on the field.
With Sturridge as their striker, City captured the FA Youth Cup in 2008 with the forward scoring in the first leg of the final.
Following the arrival of Abu-Dhabi to Manchester 11 years ago, which changed the landscape of the club. Immediately, the transformation didn’t reach full potential, as City finished 10th in the top-flight and Sturridge set sail to Chelsea with only six goals under his belt.
Still in the early stages of his development, he tip-toed through his first term with the Blues, netting on five occasions across all competitions. Chelsea completed the 2009/10 season with a Premier League and FA Cup double, with Sturridge finishing the cup competition as the club’s leading marksman in the competition.
A brief spell at Bolton Wanderers unleashed lethal firepower previously unseen in Sturridge, with eight goals in 12 appearances. Chelsea must have been licking their lips at his re-arrival, yet he could only find the net on 15 occasions across two years. This did, however, coincide with Chelsea lifting the Champions League and Europa League, neither with the inclusion of Sturridge on the final team sheets.
His spell on the international stage mirrored that of his club adventures; a sizzling start followed by a declining climax. Having appeared and scored at every football level for England, from under-16s to seniors, Sturridge was selected for the Great Britain Olympic football team in 2012 as they crashed out in the quarter-finals.
He also made the plane to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, as well as the 2016 European Championships in France, but he failed to make much of a major impact at either tournament.
Nicolas Anelka (Manchester City 2002-2005, Chelsea 2008-2012)
As career paths go, very few can show-off the stellar names much like Nicolas Anelka. Who could reel off Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Liverpool before a move to Manchester City?
Arriving from such esteemed company means a certain degree of expectancy, one Anelka duly obliged to. He ended his first two terms as the club’s leading goal scorer, the latter with 25 goals. Anelka was also the cause of Jose Mourinho’s first defeat as Chelsea boss; to think they signed him four years later.
Any bad taste between the two parties was quashed, the French forward joined Chelsea in 2008 for a £15 million bargain. Goals an absolute guarantee, Anelka once again finished his maiden season as the Blues’ top goalscorer (25), also bagging 19 in the Premier League to receive the Golden Boot award.
This did not cease up, as Anelka and a certain Didier Drogba destroyed defences across the country to land another Premier League title. A trophy-less campaign was to follow despite Anelka adding to his ever-growing goal tally.
His time was called in 2012, months before a Champions League and FA Cup swoop, yet Anelka had earned himself a special place in the hearts of Chelsea fans.
Silverware did not slow down on an international level, as he featured for France as they conquered at Euro 2000 and the 2001 Confederations Cup. Strikers were not in short supply for Les Bleus, causing Anelka to fall out of favour.
His public outburst following criticism at the 2010 World Cup will have done him no favours, as he was banished from the camp with France’s fortunes falling to pieces in front of the world’s eyes.
Scott Sinclair (Chelsea 2005-2010, Manchester City 2012-2015)
A case for being at the right place at the wrong time, Scott Sinclair was rarely given a sniff at two of England’s enigma sides, despite his glaring talent.
Signing for Chelsea does not guarantee regular football as Sinclair soon discovered when he was sent out on loan to a whopping six different sides during a five-year spell with the Blues.
His patchy path with Chelsea reeked very little reward, setting up Frank Lampard’s 100th goal for the club was arguably Sinclair’s landmark moment in his first few years.
Half a dozen managers and eight trophies flew by as the winger was nothing more than a stand-in for injuries or cup competitions; he featured more times for Plymouth Argyle in one season than he did across three for Chelsea.
Things seemingly began to brighten after soaring with Swansea City, as Manchester City raided the Welsh club for this forgotten entity in 2012.
City had crashed the so-called ‘big four’ by splashing the cash to start collecting silverware, however, Sinclair saw very little of the rewards.
His first campaign collected 15 appearances, 12 of those from the bench. This did not improve in the following season, as a blood clot caused an accumulation of only 190 minutes of league action.
In an attempt to salvage something from his playing days, Sinclair set off to the West Midlands in the form of West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa after a disappointing stay up north.
The highlight of his international stint was playing alongside Sturridge on the global stage, donning the Great Britain football strip that was knocked out of the 2012 Olympic Games, inevitably on penalties.
By Nathaniel Kay