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De Jong ready for battle at the Bridge

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong

Nigel de Jong expects nothing less than an all-out battle when City take on Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides covet a place in the Champions League, and there is sure to be added spice with City having beaten Chelsea in each of their last three encounters, including a memorable 4-2 win in west London last season.

Carlos Ancelotti's side are back in the mix for the top four after a mid-season slump, but this is exactly the kind of game that the combative Dutchman relishes.

“They’re playing at home. They know what happened against us there last season, so I think they will come at us 200 per cent," says Nigel.

 

We just have to make sure that we are focused enough to win the game. We’ve just got to pick ourselves up and do our normal jobs. We have to be prepared to go to war with Chelsea.

 

"The Europa League is gone now. But we’ve got a new target, and that’s the Champions League. So we just have to get our heads straight for the Chelsea game.”

A place in the Champions League is within reach for City for the first time, but ever the competitor, Nigel is not merely targeting fourth place but an even higher finish.

"You want to go straight into the Champions League without the need for a qualification game.

“You want to finish third, which is the position we’re in now. You never know what’s going to happen in the first two places, but for us, the main goal is just to get a straight Champions League group stage place, which you get for finishing third."

Nigel also confirmed that Mario Balotelli had apologised to his team mates for his sending-off against Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday.

"I saw him after the game. Of course he was apologetic. He was angry, he was disappointed as well.

“He’d let his team down in a way, but he knows that himself. This is a good lesson for him, and we’ll see what happens.”

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