Chelsea will face their toughest test yet this season when Manchester City line up against them in tonight’s late kickoff.
Maurizio Sarri’s terrific start to the season has faced a few bumps recently with losses against Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers coming in quick succession. But he cannot dwell on those defeats and will have readied his troops to go out there today and play to their potential and execute all the tactics decided in training sessions. On their day, Chelsea have enough firepower to dismantle most oppositions but they will need something special to counter Pep’s centurions tonight.
There is immense respect between the two managers and both will be wary and at the same time excited about the possible outcome of the fixture. Sarri will know a win here can spark a special campaign as they certainly looked the part till last week while a loss for City during this hectic month could potentially make a massive dent in their confidence and morale.
A pre-match stat which will give the Chelsea fans hope is that they are undefeated in their last 11 Premier League home games.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Maurizio Sarri will consider himself lucky in this aspect, unlike his counterpart Pep Guardiola. The Italian will have the luxury of selecting his best XI with only out of favour Victor Moses expected to miss out altogether.
PREDICTED CHELSEA LINEUP VS MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3)
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been impressive between the sticks and one small error against Wolves will not change his standing. He will start in goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta will be the right-back. The Spaniard will be aware of the enormity of the task awaiting him and he will have to be up for it. David Luiz will come back into the side and will start alongside Antonio Rudiger in central defence. Marcos Alonso will take up his spot at left-back.
Jorginho will again act as the adhesive force in midfield and he will like to impress against City. N’Golo Kante hasn’t been his usual self but that is largely down to Sarri playing him out of position. But the Frenchman will want to prove his worth in these changed circumstances as well. Ruben Loftus-Cheek took his opportunity last week but he is likely to be replaced by Mateo Kovacic.
Eden Hazard will again be Chelsea’s main-man. He will start on the left with Pedro coming back into the side on the right-wing. Olivier Giroud is expected to be preferred ahead of Alvaro Morata as the lone striker.