Can Chelsea beat Manchester City on Saturday?

Chelsea start the weekend three points behind joint Premier League leaders Manchester City and Manchester United.

Our opening day defeat to Burnley following the dismissals of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas had been an early hinder to the defence of our title.

A disappointing draw at home to Arsenal a fortnight ago was followed up by the 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City last weekend.

Our performance and 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night showed we’re back to the form we showed last season in running away with the Premier League title.

Betfair’s football odds have us as 2.68 to beat Manchester City on Saturday – narrow favourites against the joint leaders. Playing at Stamford Bridge plays to our advantage, though we played away in Spain midweek and 24 hours after City were beating lesser opposition on home soil.

In Alvaro Morata I believe we have an upgrade from Diego Costa. The club record signing has six goals in his first six Premier League appearances and is lethal with his head and both feet.

Morata’s solo effort for his second goal versus Stoke City last weekend shows just what a lethal striker we have.

We do host Manchester City this weekend without the suspended David Luiz at the back, disrupting our central three partnership that have been excellent for a year now.

Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta are likely to be partnered by Antonio Rudiger or even Andreas Christensen as part of our back three this weekend.

We come up against the Premier League’s highest scorers through six games this weekend. Manchester City have amassed an incredible 21 goals already but will be without top scorer Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine suffered a freak injury during one of his off days as he was in the back of a taxi after a concert in the Netherlands, heading back to Amsterdam airport when it crashed. The extent of Aguero’s injury is not yet known but it is expected he will miss both this weekend’s game and the international break at least.

In his place, Pep Guardiola has a wealth of talent at his disposal. Gabriel Jesus would be the obvious choice to move from the left wing to play up front, and then bring Leroy Sane into the starting lineup to play down the left.

The pacey German winger already has three Premier League games despite only starting twice this season.

City’s attack will require full concentration from our defence if we’re to win this game. Sane, Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling are all great goalscoring threats.

Guardiola has put together an immense attacking lineup. Manchester City are seemingly able to get around the Financial Fair Play rules with their owners pumping money into the club and listing them as sponsorship deals – the shirt, the stadium etc.

Chelsea’s transfers have been financed with no issues against the FFP rules. As well as selling players for large fees, such as David Luiz, Ramires and Diego Costa, we also have some of the biggest sponsorship deals in world football. The infographic below shows we compete with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United in this category.

At the other end of the pitch there is hope for us. City have looked fragile at the back with Vincent Kompany sidelined. Goalkeeper Ederson looks very shaky from set pieces and crosses too.

It all has the making for an entertaining encounter at Stamford Bridge and, hopefully, one we will come out on top of.


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