Date: Thursday 25th June 2020
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 20:15 BST
So, the socially distanced but not really socially distanced part of the season continues, as we take on Manchester City tonight at Stamford Bridge.
We restarted the campaign with a win against Villa at the weekend but there was something uncomfortably familiar about the way it played out. Despite dominating possession and never looking under any pressure at all for the first 40 minutes, we still managed to find ourselves a goal down by half-time. Two goals in 2 minutes from Pulisic and Giroud around the hour-mark reflected the game more accurately but we just didn’t push on to kill the game completely. Maybe a little harsh in the circumstances but it definitely hasn’t inspired confidence ahead of tonight’s game.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have got off to a flier with eight goals in two games since the restart, beating Arsenal by 3 and Burnley by 5, both without conceding. They’ve dominated this fixture in the last few seasons as well and as much as Pep has whinged about fitness, with their strength and the five-sub rule, they could easily field a fresh XI and still give half of them a rest if they as much as break into a sweat.
We’ll need every single water break on offer tonight – and some – because in the form they’re in, there’s no way City will be handing their title to Liverpool tonight.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard says, “We have to be realistic and honest, but we have to just get as many points as we can. We have tough games but we have to just focus on ourselves. The competition is fierce., I’m not focusing on others, just ourselves. Every game is an opportunity to see the growth of the team. Villa it was nice to see the character. Against City of course we want to be at that level. We want to close the gap and it’s a great opportunity to prove themselves.”
Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, meanwhile says “We can’t deny that we have one eye on Newcastle. Chelsea and Liverpool are prestigious but Newcastle is our game. A final. We have one eye. It depends on physical condition, the minutes they have played. We take a look a little bit at what is going to happen, not just Chelsea.”
For Chelsea, Fikayo Tomori is still a week away, Callum Hudson-Odoi (ankle) is still not considered fit, but Jorginho is available again after suspension.
For Manchester City, Sergio Aguero (knee) and Eric Garcia (head) are absent and John Stones is a doubt.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kante; Jorginho; Barkley; Pulisic, Giroud; Willian
MANCHESTER CITY (Possible line-up): Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Chelsea 2-0 Manchester City (8th December 2018)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
MANCHESTER CITY: LWWLWW
- Manchester City have won five of the past seven meetings in all competition
- Chelsea have only kept one clean sheet in the last 11 Premier League meetings.
- Chelsea have won three successive games in all competitions.
- Manchester City have won six of their seven most recent matches in all competitions
- Manchester City have lost two of their last four Premier League away games
- Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League home fixtures against the reigning champions.
- Manchester City have won 18 of their past 20 midweek Premier League fixtures
BBC Sport: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
Premier League Press: Chelsea 2-3 Manchester City
Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
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