Date: Saturday 23rd November 2019
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Today’s late game probably wouldn’t be the fixture we’d want straight after an international break, particularly with our opponents going into the break off the back of a pretty sound defeat to their title challengers but like it or not, we’re at the Etihad to take on Man City.
After the trouncing City dished out in this fixture last season, we couldn’t have predicted at the start of this season we’d start the game above them in the table, albeit by just a point. City have such an incredible resource available to them, it almost defies belief that a new young manager, with new young players (and no money allowed to burn a hole in his pocket just yet), could have squeezed themselves past the current Champions in the table. Maybe Pep underestimated City life without Vincent Kompany – Not just because they’re conceding more than you’d expect, but also the lack of leadership? We certainly struggled for quite some time after the departure of JT.
That’s not to say our new young manager and new young players have been solid from the off, we shipped our fair share of goals earlier in the season and might do so again today with our young players going up against players of City’s calibre. As long as we don’t let 6 in against us again though, the pressure is all on City. They must win to stop the gap between them and Liverpool from getting any wider. We’re not expected to win and outside of the most optimistic of Chelsea supporters, I’ve not heard anyone suggest that’s on the cards today.
I’m hoping for a learning curve rather than a downward trajectory here.
Going into today’s game, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, says “I think Chelsea, over many years, have been an incredible top team, but from the beginning (of this season) his team have played really good. He (Frank Lampard) is consistent with his ideas and the results are there. I’m happy for him.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, meanwhile, says “I still see them as the same strength. I’ve watched them a lot this international break. They’ve had their injury problems but they are a great team and still as big a threat as they always have been. Anyone can go to Manchester City, play at their best and still lose so I won’t be making huge judgements win or lose.”
For Manchester City, Leroy Sane is out for a good while yet, Bernado Silva is suspended although Ederson (muscular) is expected to be back.
For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles), van Ginkel (ACL), Ross Barkley (ankle), Andreas Christensen (hamstring) and Antonio Rudiger (groin) all remain out. Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring) may also miss out and Christian Pulisic (groin) is a doubt but Jorginho returns after suspension.
MANCHESTER CITY (Possible line-up): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, D.Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson; Kante; Jorginho; Willian, Mount; Pulisic; Abraham.
Man City 6-0 Chelsea (10th February 2019)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
MAN CITY: WLWWWL
- Manchester City have won five of the past six meetings in all competitions
- Chelsea have lost three of their last four Premier League away games against City.
- City handed us our biggest defeat in the Premier League in this fixture last season.
- City’s three league defeats from their opening 12 matches is as many as Pep Guardiola had at this stage of a season in his previous 10 top-flight managerial campaigns combined (W95, D22, L3).
- City’s three defeats is just one fewer than in the whole of 2018-19, and one more than they did in 2017-18.
- Chelsea have won six consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2017.
- Chelsea are looking to win eight consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time in their history.
- Chelsea have lost only one of their last 11 games in all competitions, winning nine and drawing one.
- Chelsea are winless in 10 Premier League away matches against other established top-six teams.
BBC Sport: Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Manchester City 4-2 Chelsea
Sportsmole: Manchester City 4-1 Chelsea