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Chelsea and City plagued by injury

Chelsea will be without midfielder Frank Lampard against Manchester City tomorrow. The midfielder is understood to need more time to recover from his recent hernia surgery and so will miss the trip to Eastlands along with striker Salomon Kalou and midfielders Yossi Benayoun and Gael Kakuta.

Kakuta (back), Kalou (thigh) and Benayoun (calf) were all injured during Chelsea's 4-3 Carling Cup exit at the hands of Newcastle on Wednesday.

However, Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel hopes the Blues will continue their unbeaten run in the Premier League against City. Chelsea have secured five straight league wins over West Brom, Wigan, Stoke, West Ham and Blackpool, scoring 21 goals in the process. Mikel said: "If I was a defender playing against Chelsea, I would be very scared because you don't know where we're going to come from. So it is hard to know what to expect when we have all these players bombing forward.

"If you look at our front three, none of them have a static position, they are all moving around. It is the same with the midfield although I tend to stay a little bit more because I cannot afford to leave that position."

City boss Roberto Mancini could have only three fit defenders and may have to field an emergency left-back if Micah Richards fails to recover from injury.

Mancini is desperately short of defensive options and if Richards is ruled out by his hamstring injury, City will have only Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure as certain starters in their backline.