Haaland vs Silva & Other Key Battles| Chelsea vs Manchester City

Chelsea play hosts to Manchester City in the Premier League on Thursday evening, as both teams look to get back to winning ways.

The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw by Nottingham Forest away, which left them 10th in the table. They are 10 points adrift of the top four and must bounce back after disappointingly dropping points at Forest.

Man City, on the other hand, had to settle for a point after drawing 1-1 with Everton at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. The result saw them lose ground in the title race, leaving them eight points behind league leaders Arsenal but with a game in hand.

With a mouthwatering clash expected at Stamford Bridge, here are the key battles that could define the outcome of the Premier League fixture.

#Kevin de Bruyne vs Jorginho

Kevin de Bruyne has returned to Man City in a spectacular fashion after an underwhelming World Cup competition.

The beating heart of the City side, the Belgian’s vision and ability to break any defensive set-up is simply outstanding. That is why he is rated as among the best midfielders across European football. Monitoring De Bruyne’s movements in the final third is difficult and Jorginho will have his work cut out.

Jorginho’s reading of the game and defensive qualities are well-known, and he will have to keep a close watch on De Bruyne. If the Italian can stop De Bruyne from getting into his stride and occupying spaces in and around the box, that may be enough to blunt the Man City midfield maestro’s influence.

#Erling Haaland vs Thiago Silva

Erling Haaland has been sensational in his maiden Premier League campaign and scored his 21st league goal in the 1-1 draw with Everton. 21 goals in 15 league games is a remarkable return, and three goals in two games since the Premier League resumed should give the Norwegian goal-machine a lot of confidence heading into the Chelsea fixture.

Marking Haaland in the penalty box has been a nightmare for defenders this season, as a result, Thiago Silva faces an uphill task. Silva is past his prime and has lost a yard of pace or two but the veteran’s defensive awareness and aerial ability are still outstanding.

So, it will be interesting to see if the Brazilian can neutralise Haaland’s threat. The winner of this duel should have a huge impact in deciding the game for their club.

#Kyle Walker vs Raheem Sterling

Two England teammates are likely to go head-to-head on the flank at Stamford Bridge.

Pep Guardiola could recall Kyle Walker into the starting XI at the expense of young Rico Lewis at right-back. Walker is yet to register minutes in the league since the resumption but his experience and pace would be needed to tackle Raheem Sterling on the flank.

Sterling has not been great for Chelsea in his debut season so far but the goal against Nottingham Forest should lift his spirits and give him some much-needed belief. Blessed with explosive pace and acceleration, the Chelsea forward is also industrious and works really hard off the ball, making for an intriguing test of whether Sterling or Walker can pin the other back.

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