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From past experience, ACN has minimal to no impact on title race.
Two seasons ago, many believed that the lost of Drogba, Malouda, Essien, Mikel and Kalou to ACN duty would be detrimental to Chelsea's title chances, but their fringe players on cover stepped up to the plate. Chelsea went on to win the title at Man U's expense. Interestingly, Man U were one of the clubs who did not lose any player to ACN duty in that season.
I doubt the ACN would affect City this season as they have 'quality' strength in depth all over the park.
Two years before that, in Grant's season, it was also predicted Chelsea would fall apart. We also had injuries to Terry and Lampard at ACN time. In the event Ballack took charge and we won 11 matches in a row around December and January. Then the Africans came back and everything went pear-shaped.
This time, other than Drogba, we probably won't notice it. Meireles keeps Mikel out of the team, Kalou gets five minutes out of sympathy once every five matches and Essien's dating the physio. And if Torres doesn't step up to cover Drogba, it will be a good moment for Roman to stick his fingers in his pockets for Neymar.