A massive game for both sides!
City were 7 points off of Liverpool a couple of weeks ago but since they beat the Reds at home in January City have reduced the gap to the point that they now lead Liverpool on goal difference. City do have a game in hand but Chelsea is a massive test for them as they lost at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season. City have not been as dominant as they were last season and even lost to Newcastle at the end of last month. They have since beat Arsenal and Everton. City have won 20 drawn 2 and lost 4 this season but while Liverpool were favourites until last weekend their poor form and City’s uptick in form has reinstalled the Manchester side as favourites.
Chelsea sit 4th in the table at the moment and depending on the results before the game they could be 5th. Chelsea have been up and down this season but the losses have always been really heavy ones where the team seem to down tools. Chelsea have at least responded well after every single defeat and the 4-0 loss to Bournemouth was backed up with a 5-0 win against Huddersfield. Huddersfield are bottom of the table but a 5-0 win of any kind in the Premier League is worth a shout out. Chelsea go into this game with an away trip to Malmo in Sweden coming up midweek, although this game is obviously the one that requires more importance. Chelsea also did beat City 2-0 at home a the beginning of the season thanks to goals from Kante and Luiz. Similar to that game this game also comes with the majority of the media and public backing City to win the game. Chelsea always tend to do well when the odds are against us and there is no other way I would approach this game. The style is probably going to be a more defensive version of Sarriball more like one that is sprinkled with some counter attacks, but with Higuain at the helm Chelsea are much better suited to play the style then they were in the reverse fixture.
Chelsea Team Preview
Sarri stated that Hudson-Odoi and Cahill had small health issues but should be fit in time for the game on Sunday. Cahill has largely been marginalised but CHO needs to be back even if he is an option from the bench. Kepa is the obvious starter in goal with Azpi and Luiz certain to play in defence. The difficult choice comes in whether Sarri chooses Christensen or Rudiger to partner Luiz and whether Emerson starts in front of Alonso. In my opinion both Rudiger and Christensen would be fine choices although Emerson should start ahead of Alonso purely on the basis of dealing with City’s pace. In midfield Jorginho and Kante are shoe ins but while Sarri might go with Kovacic I would choose a more attacking option in RLC. Up front Hazard and Higuain are guaranteed and a safe option is Pedro or Willian but it would great if Sarri chose CHO.
Man City Team Preview
City are without Kompany, and Mendy for the game but the big positive is that De Bruyne is 100 percent and back for this game along with Aguero leading the line. These two players were missing in the reverse fixture and could be key for City.
Starting XI Prediction
This is going to be a tough game and really it is a case of which Chelsea shows up. If it is the same Chelsea that played in the second half of the reverse fixture then we can win this game but if Bournemouth Chelsea show up it will be a tough day. Certain games there is a feeling and for this one the feeling is Chelsea will get three points. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!