Chelsea vs Man City: Match Preview
Manchester City failed to capitalize on a surprise Chelsea defeat at the weekend as they twice threw away a lead to draw with Arsenal on Sunday. A win for Guardiola’s men tomorrow at Stamford Bridge could really open the door for a late title challenge for the Premier League’s top four. Antonio Conte’s men will be looking to bounce back in the style of would-be champions.
Conte wouldve no doubt been disappointed with the result at the weekend, however, the performance was nothing to be ashamed of. Chelsea certainly dominated the game and without heroics from Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, the result could have been very different. Chelsea should realistically only be without Victor Moses, barring any other injuries in the coming days. Nemanja Matic may be another casualty from the weekend’s line-up after a poor performance.
Probable Chelsea Line-Up: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Pedro, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso, Willian, Costa, Hazard
Guardiola will be without longer term injured stars Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus, whilst right-back Bacary Sagna should again miss out due to injury. Captain Vincent Kompany will return at Stamford Bridge and could see Guardiola opt to match Chelsea’s 3–4–3 formation, however, if he should remain with four in defence, I believe it would be best to bring back Pablo Zabaleta, rather than re-use Jesus Navas as a makeshift right-back.
Probable Man City Line-Up: Caballero, Stones, Kompany, Otamendi, Navas, Silva, Fernandinho, Kolarov, De Bruyne, Aguero, Sane.
With Chelsea’s surprise loss to Crystal Palace, Manchester City can really make the title race interesting as we head into the final stretch of the Premier League season. A Tottenham victory paired with a possible Chelsea defeat during this round of fixtures would cut the West Londoners lead at the top of the table to just four points with eight games remaining. Guardiola will be regretting his side recording three consecutive draws in the league, as that loss of six points really has cut their title hopes to beyond slim. If this game was to be played at the Etihad, I would certainly be worried for Chelsea after the weekend, however, with home advantage, a ground they have only lost at once since September, I can see them running out comfortable victors, with both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa really stepping up to the plate.
Prediction: Chelsea 3–1 Manchester City