De Bruyne's focus clear

LONDON • Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne insists that he has nothing to prove to Chelsea, as he prepares to return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since being transferred out by Jose Mourinho in January 2014.

The Belgium international has lived up to his £55 million (S$106 million) price tag since arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Wolfsburg, scoring goals home and away in City's Champions League quarter-final 3-2 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain.

The forward believes he just did not get the chance to show Chelsea fans what he could do, as he played just nine games for Mourinho's team.

"It's not a case of I played a lot and played badly - I just didn't play," the 24-year-old told City's official website ahead of the team's clash against Chelsea today. "It is what it is and I'm just going there to try and help City win the game which is really important for us.

"If we want to put pressure on the teams around us, it's obviously better to take three points so maybe that will work in our favour because there's no pressure on Chelsea to win now."

Chelsea go into the match 10th in the league, 13 points adrift of fourth-placed City.

Blues interim manager Guus Hiddink has striker Diego Costa back following a one-match suspension, but admitted there is "a little bit of emptiness" at the London club as they prepare to finish their season without a trophy.

He told a news conference yesterday: "What I ask of them is to go into tomorrow's match and the rest of the matches with the ambition and desire for a good run."

City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that he will be without David Silva, Raheem Sterling and captain Vincent Kompany today.

CHELSEA V MAN CITY
Ch102 & Ch227, tomorrow, 12.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline 'De Bruyne's focus clear'. Print Edition | Subscribe