Manchester City face a must-win match against Chelsea today at the Etihad Stadium. Liverpool won their game against Bournemouth comfortably yesterday and now City have all to do against a Chelsea side who have already beaten them this season.
Pep Guardiola’s boys have recovered well after a horrific run of form in December but probably need to win almost all their games if they are to entertain thoughts of defending their crown. This will be City’s fourth Premier League game in twelve days and fatigue might play a big part.
MANCHESTER CITY TEAM NEWS
Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy are missing while Claudio Bravo and Eliaquim Mangala are long-term absentees. Other than this, Pep has a full contingent to choose from.
PREDICTED MANCHESTER CITY LINEUP VS CHELSEA (4-3-3)
Ederson will start in goal. The Brazilian might be a bit busier than he has been in recent games but his USP will remain his ability to pass and build up play from the back.
Kyle Walker has been decent in recent weeks after an alarming drop in form at the end of last year. He is likely to start again at right back but needs to be at his best if Eden Hazard is to be stopped from wreaking havoc.
Pep experimented with Fernandinho at centre-back against Arsenal but we might see a more conventional central defensive pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte.
The latter has performed well at left-back but we expect a start for Danilo on that flank. He will be up against his compatriot Willian and will be better equipped to negate his threat.
Fernandinho should be handed a start in his preferred role i.e the holding midfield position. His contribution will be crucial and he has to put in another tireless shift to stifle Chelsea’s creative options in the final third.
Ilkay Gundogan has been praised by Pep recently and he could feature once again with David Silva a candidate to drop out. Kevin de Bruyne will feature in midfield and he will look to pull the strings in advanced midfield and if David Silva misses out, he will be the creator in chief.
Bernardo Silva seems to be undroppable now and if Pep goes with the above-mentioned midfield, then the Portuguese is likely to start on the right-wing. In that case, Raheem Sterling will feature on the left with Sergio Aguero operating through the middle.