Date: Sunday 21st May 2023
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Thankfully we’re getting ever-closer to the end of this woeful season, unfortunately we have to face Manchester City ahead of that because this afternoon, we travel to the Etihad for a battering off the newly crowned champions.
Ok, maybe last week’s draw against Forest looks less embarrassing after Arsenal’s defeat to them handed the title to City yesterday but there’s no getting away from the performance. Particularly given the form City find themselves in right now. They might have hit a few bumps in the road this season that let Arsenal get all giddy and carried away with themselves but it was pretty short-lived and once they found their rhythm again, there’s been no let-up. And whilst we struggled to take a point from Forest, City strolled past Everton before battering Real Madrid 4-0 to reach the Champions League final, leaving them looking ever more likely to do the treble.
They’ve won their last 11 in the Premier League and won’t even need to break into a sweat this afternoon. We haven’t beat them since we won the Champions League against them in 2021, they’ve already beat us 4-0 in the FA Cup and I wouldn’t even say they were in the sort of form they’re in now when they did it.
We’re an embarrassing 42 points behind City going into this game and the gulf in both quality and motivation will be laid bare this afternoon. I’m bloody dreading it.
Going into today’s game, Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola says “Chelsea deserve our full attention, In my mind, I’d like to feel we have to win to be champions and that’s what we need to think. It does not matter what happens in Nottingham we have to do our job, win our game. We have time at the end of the season to celebrate. Tomorrow we can win, celebrate in the stadium with our fans.”
Chelsea interim manager, Frank Lampard, meanwhile, says “You should definitely be respectful on the day of the game. But the only inspiration the young players should need is what it’s taken Man City to get where they’ve got. It’s not the moment of lifting the cup, it’s Kevin De Bruyne’s journey, and (Erling) Haaland’s journey, and (Ilkay) Gundogan’s journey, and John Stones’ journey. A player has to understand that the cup-lifting moments are because of all the work done over the years against the odds, whatever it is, how hard they work. That team clearly works hard and then when one has to stop working hard the next one steps in and works hard. That’s what the players have to understand. I think the trophy lift is one to be respectful of but understanding why they’re lifting trophies is the real thing the players need to see.”
For Manchester City, Nathan Ake (hamstring) is their only injury concern.
For Chelsea, Armando Broja (ACL), Kalidou Koulibaly (hamstring), Mason Mount (pelvic), Reece James (hamstring), Marc Cucurella (hamstring), Ben Chilwell (hamstring) and Benoit Badiashile (groin) are all injured and Kovacic (unspecified) is a doubt.
MANCHESTER CITY (Possible line-up): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte; Stones, Rodri; Mahrez, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish; Haaland
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Fofana; Azpilicueta, Loftus-Cheek, Fernandez, Gallagher, Hall; Sterling, Havertz
Manchester City 1-0 Chelsea (15 January 2022)
MANCHESTER CITY: WWWWWW
- Manchester City are aiming to win four successive league games against us for the first time.
- Chelsea have lost the last five meetings in all competitions without scoring a goal since beating City in the final of the 2021 Champions League.
- Manchester City have 11 consecutive wins in the Premier League.
- Chelsea have only won one of their 17 league matches this season against teams currently in the top half of the table.
- City have won all 15 of their home fixtures in all competitions in 2023.
- Chelsea could finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
- Manchester City have scored 53 goals this calendar year.
- Chelsea have scored 36 league goals this season.
Sportsmole: Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea