Chelsea will take on Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in the biggest game of the Premier League weekend.
Mauricio Pochettino’s return to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday ended in an extraordinary 4-1 win, with Cole Palmer’s penalty and Nicolas Jackson’s hat-trick ending the north London club’s unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign. It was a strong response from Pochettino’s boys to the West London derby defeat to Brentford, although they still are 10th in the table nine points off the top four.
Nonetheless, the Pensioners’ spirits have been lifted heading into the game against Man City, who have won their past six matches against the West London side in all competitions without conceding a single goal.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea will be without the services of Wesley Fofana (knee), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Romeo Lavia (ankle), Christopher Nkunku (knee), Trevoh Chalobah (thigh) and Carney Chukwuemeka (knee) for the visit of Manchester City.
Enzo Fernandez came off the hour mark following a challenge by compatriot Cristian Romero last weekend, but he was pictured on Cobham pitches on Thursday, so the midfielder ought to be fine for Sunday’s home fixture. Armando Broja also is in with a chance of shaking off a knee issue to make the bench against the Sky Blues.
Predicted Chelsea lineup vs Manchester City (4-2-3-1)
Despite his shaky performances since the start of the season, Robert Sanchez should continue in Chelsea’s goal against Man City.
An unchanged backline is expected on Sunday, meaning Reece James, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill should all start. Disasi will partner Silva at the heart of Chelsea’s defence, with James and Colwill operating from right-back and left-back positions respectively.
James and Colwill could face spells of being pinned back by Man City attackers, so they must defend diligently as well as get forward when needed. Marc Cucurella and Benoit Badiashile should offer cover for defensive positions.
Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo will pair up in the middle of the park, hoping to keep things ticking over on Sunday. The duo will look to take control of the game as quickly as possible whilst disrupting Man City’s rhythm of play.
Conor Gallagher should be responsible for pulling the strings from the advanced midfield role. The Englishman’s industry, dynamism and creative passing could be key in unlocking City’s well-drilled defence.
Finally, Raheem Sterling, Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson should form Chelsea’s offensive unit. Sterling and Palmer will be raring to prove that City’s decision to let them go was wrong, with the English duo starting on the left and right wing respectively.
A hat-trick against Spurs should have lifted Jackson’s morale to a different level, and the Senegalese will be hoping to build on that display by getting on the scoresheet on Sunday. With their pace and direct running, Noni Madueke and Mykhaylo Mudryk could pose a threat to the tiring City defenders in the last 15-20 minutes of the games.