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Chelsea face uphill battle against Manchester City

Tonight's game at Stamford bridge has cost both owners about £3 billion to stage as two of the most wealthy men in football go head to head. The Chelsea squad and facilities has been built up over eight years by Roman Abramovich but while the bar has been raised by Manchester City, he will have to decide if he want to put further investment into the club.

In the wake of a stinging rebuke to Chelsea's critics this season, new Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas needs his players to display their backbone against the league leaders. Abramovich does not have a track record of keeping his managers if they don't meet his aspirations of winning the Premier and Champions League.

Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich has outspent City’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan by approximately £1 billion since arriving in west London in June 2003 at his current rate of spending, Sheikh Mansour will break that barrier two years quicker.

City have made the Chelsea template work on the pitch under manager Roberto Mancini but closing the gap on the London club commercially is a key factor once Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations come into force in 2015.

Globally, Chelsea have become the closest commercial challenger to the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

TD

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