Manchester City will face Premier League giants Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in tonight’s late kickoff. The league leaders came away with a point from their much-dreaded trip to Anfield and west London is also somewhere they find matters difficult.
But Pep will know a loss here could seriously dampen spirits during this hectic month and the manner in which Liverpool are breathing down their neck, City can ill-afford to slip up. But things will not be easy despite Chelsea’s patchy recent form. The Blues have lost to Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanders off late but the potential and talent they possess are enough to see off any team on their day.
The pre-match stats don’t look too bad for the Sky Blues though. They have won 11 out of their 13 matches in the league and have also kept a clean sheet in the last 3 meetings between the two sides winning all three of them.
MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS
In what came as a massive blow, Sergio Aguero was ruled out by Pep Guardiola for this all-important clash. Aguero’s recent non-participation was seen as a riskfree resting period for the Argentine so that he could be ready for tonight. But he joins the list of absentees along with Kevin de Bruyne who will be another huge miss.
Claudio Bravo and Benjamin Mendy are long-term absentees while Eliaquim Mangala remains out.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINEUP VS CHELSEA (4-3-3)
Ederson will start in goal and will look to extend his clean sheet tally against Chelsea.
Pep is expected to go with his strongest backline based on current form. Hence, Kyle Walker will start at right back. His pace and athleticism will come in handy against Eden Hazard. Aymeric Laporte will come back into the side and he will replace Vincent Kompany. John Stones will start alongside the Frenchman. On the left, Fabian Delph will look to focus on the ‘basics’ of football as he so passionately puts it across.
Fernandinho will continue his sequence of starts in deep midfield. While Gundogan is highly rated by Pep, the form of Bernardo Silva might keep him ahead in the pecking order. David Silva will complete the midfield trio.
Riyad Mahrez has been preferred in most big games this season but it was mostly at a time when Leroy Sane was not firing on all cylinders and Sergio Aguero was there to lead the line. But Sane’s form might be too good to be ignored and we expect him to start on the left.
Raheem Sterling will surely start. We are putting him on the right-wing with Gabriel Jesus leading the line. But there is a strong possibility the Catalan genius might deploy the birthday boy, Raheem, as a false 9 and go with Mahrez on the right.