Manchester City will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways when they host Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend. The Cityzens suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Liverpool before the international break and that has dropped them nine points behind the Reds, who are placed at the top of the standings.
In comparison, the Blues continued their winning run with a sixth-straight league triumph. The west London side registered a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in their home turf. They are presently third on the table with a one-point advantage over Pep Guardiola’s side.
Previous league meeting:
The previous league meeting between the sides was at the Etihad Stadium in February where the Cityzens celebrated a thumping 6-0 win over Chelsea, who were then managed by Maurizio Sarri. The Italian opted for an attack-minded approach at the beginning and that cost the Blues dearly as it played into the hands of the Premier League holders. Sergio Aguero was the standout performer with a hat-trick. The defeat was the Blues’ worst-ever in the Premier League era.
Players to watch out for:
Sergio Aguero – Manchester City: Before the international break, Aguero had another frustrating trip to Anfield where he was substituted without scoring. The Argentine was presented with a couple of good chances to find the net but he could not quite capitalise and end his goalless run at Liverpool’s homeground. Still, he continues to remain the go-to man for the Cityzens upfront and he should fancy his prospects against Chelsea. The 31-year-old likes to play against the Blues and he has amassed 15 goals from the previous 19 meetings. The Blues have improved on their defensive displays over the past month but the young duo of Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori could have a busy evening with Aguero likely to take advantage of any lapse in concentration with his overlapping runs behind the backline.
Tammy Abraham – Chelsea: Abraham has been a surprise package for the Blues this term and he is currently second in the Premier League scoring charts with 11 goals from just 12 league appearances. Despite this, Abraham has yet to make a valuable contribution against the elite Premier League sides and he has the opportunity to prove his credentials when the Blues make the Manchester trip. While Abraham has been impressive with his composure and finishing, the striker has also impressed with his co-ordination with his teammates and the Cityzens may need to be particularly wary of the distribution from the likes of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic towards the 22-year-old, who bagged his first goal for England during the recent international break.
Chelsea are unlikely to go defensive against the reigning champions, judging by Frank Lampard’s style of play from the beginning of the season. They will have chances to find to score with their attacking brand of football but that could likewise leave the game open and that’s why the Cityzens will capitalise. Pep Guardiola’s side have generally responded with strong performances after defeats and they should get the better of the Blues by at least a couple of goals.
Manchester City 3-1 Chelsea