MX23RW : Saturday, December 7 03:12:50| >> :600:1093867:1093867:
Nov 23, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 54,486
Man CityManchester City
2-1
Chelsea
De Bruyne (29'), Mahrez (37')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Kante (21')

Preview: Manchester City vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Premier League showdown between Manchester City and Chelsea.

Manchester City play host to Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening sitting one point adrift of the Blues in the Premier League table.

While City succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool before the international break, Chelsea make the trip to the North-West having recorded six successive victories in the top flight.


Manchester City

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola on October 6, 2019© Reuters

While losing out to Liverpool has left City nine points adrift of their rivals, Pep Guardiola may feel that his squad can now play without any pressure as they bid to win a third successive crown.

City have long been considered the team to beat in English football but to a certain extent, they can now go about their business as underdogs to the Merseyside giants, something which could prove to be a blessing in disguise.

In the game before the international break, there was not much between the two clubs, with City showing enough to suggest that the setback will not have a long-lasting effect going forward.

Despite Chelsea being the form team in the division, there is an argument that this is the perfect match-up for Guardiola's team as they look to make a statement.

Perhaps the biggest concern for Guardiola is that his side have been below their best in three successive games, with a narrow win over Southampton and a hard-fought draw coming away at Atalanta BC before the visit to Liverpool.

That said, it would have been a different story had City shown a clinical touch during the early stages of those outings, and that is something which Chelsea should be wary of ahead of this clash.

City have had their issues at the other end of the pitch, however, and they will likely have to make considerable improvements to nullify an impressive Blues attack.

Nevertheless, this is the type of game where an early goal can change the dynamic of the match, and you would not back against City running riot if they can breach the Chelsea backline during the opening quarter, much like they did in last season's corresponding fixture.

Recent form: WLWWWL
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWDL


Chelsea

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard pictured on November 2, 2019© Reuters

While Chelsea have had a favourable fixture list in recent weeks, Frank Lampard and his team deserve credit for producing a run of form which has put the club in the mix for the title.

However, this Blues side is still very much a work in progress, and Lampard himself will acknowledge that his emerging team must continue to work hard in order to match the likes of City and Liverpool in the long term.

Nevertheless, despite a significant gulf in class and experience between the teams, the Englishman will be excited ahead of the challenge which awaits his team on Saturday evening.

The 4-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United on the opening day of the campaign is still fresh in the memory, but the humbling at Old Trafford effectively acted as a catalyst for the west Londoners to make the changes required to keep them among the mix at the right end of the table.

Chelsea are far from the finished article at the back, although three of the last four goals which they have conceded have come through their own lack of concentration during the closing stages of matches.

In Lampard's eyes, those lessons have come at the right time, but it is now up to his defensive players to show that they are learning from mistakes which could have resulted in lost points.

Despite the widespread plaudits which have been received for their attacking displays, Chelsea are still wasting too many opportunities, something which they cannot afford to happen at the weekend.

To a certain extent, Chelsea are carrying no pressure heading into the contest, but Lampard knows that his players have a chance to move four points clear of City in the table - a margin which would have been regarded as extremely unrealistic a few months ago.

Recent form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWLWDW


Team News

Bernardo Silva during Manchester City training on April 16, 2019© Reuters

City will be without Bernardo Silva this weekend, with the Portuguese midfielder serving a one-match ban for a post made on social media.

However, goalkeeper Ederson should be fit to return after a muscle injury, while Benjamin Mendy is likely to get the nod over Angelino at left-back.

Guardiola must also decide whether to hand a recall to David Silva, potentially in place of either Rodri or Ilkay Gundogan.

As for Chelsea, Lampard may consider dropping one of his flair players in favour of partnering Jorginho, N'Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in midfield.

Depending on whether Christian Pulisic has shaken off a hip injury, Mason Mount may have to make do with a spot among the replacements.

Cesar Azpilicueta will almost certainly come back into the side ahead of Reece James.

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, D.Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Abraham, Pulisic


Head To Head

Saturday's showdown will represent the 164th competitive encounter between the two clubs, with Chelsea having recorded 67 wins in comparison to 56 victories for City.

However, Guardiola's side have registered four wins and clean sheets in six outings against Chelsea, while also getting the better of the Blues on penalties in last season's EFL Cup final after a goalless draw.

Nevertheless, the West Londoners did prevail by a 2-0 scoreline when the teams met at Stamford Bridge last December.


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We say: Manchester City 4-1 Chelsea

Chelsea will be full of confidence ahead of taking on Guardiola's men, but City are motivated to produce a clinical response after falling short at Anfield. While the visitors could make an impact in the final third, we feel that they could be overpowered at the opposite end of the pitch.


body check tags ::

Who will win Saturday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Chelsea?

Manchester City
Draw
Chelsea
Manchester City
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Chelsea
0.0%
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool15141037142343
2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City15102343172632
4Chelsea159243021929
5Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd155642318521
7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs155552523220
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle155461522-719
12Burnley155372124-318
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
14Bournemouth154471821-316
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
16Aston Villa154382224-215
17Southampton154381733-1615
18Everton154291627-1114
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611
20Watford15159930-218

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