CHELSEA v Man City: Preview

Date: Saturday 30th September, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 17:30 BST

After the manner in which we went about our midweek win at Atletico on Wednesday night, the more optimistic among us could be forgiven for being mildly confident ahead of this game. The result midweek and the performance that got us there, is undoubtedly one of the stand out games by an English team in Europe in recent years.
Our miserable opening day against Burnley and the hysterics that came after it have faded from memories, as quickly as Diego Costa, thanks to Alvaro Morata although an abject display against Arsenal – coincidentally, also after a good win in Europe – will be fresher in the minds of us realists.
Manchester City have had another strong start to the season, they’re unbeaten in 14 league games since losing to us in April and with five or more goals in three consecutive top-flight games, they’re scoring for fun right now.
Add to that Pep Guardiola’s seven games against us as a manager without a win (Super Cup on penalties aside), and he will make sure they throw everything they have at us today.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “It will not be easy to make [selection] decisions, because, in my eyes, there is the last performance against Atletico Madrid. Every single player performed very well in this game. But I have to check the physical condition for every single player and then to make the best decision.”
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola meanwhile, focuses on City’s injury woes. In spite of a sizeable squad full of quality, he says “No way (will Kompany be fit to play against Chelsea). He didn’t make one training session with us since one month ago, the Gibraltar game. Mendy will be operated on this afternoon in Barcelona by Dr [Ramon] Cugat and will be out until the semi-finals of Champions League.” Whilst on Aguero’s recent accident, he says “Sergio, as you know, has had an accident in Amsterdam. I don’t know, I am not a doctor, I don’t know exactly what he has. It was an accident. Fortunately, he will come back and recover as soon as possible. It was his day off, I’m not the police. I would prefer to be with Mendy, with Kompany and with Sergio Aguero [but] we will play with eleven.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Danny Drinkwater (calf) is still injured and David Luiz is suspended, although Pedro should be available after his midweek rest. Eden Hazard could start after he came through the midweek game with flying colours.
For Manchester City, Benjamin Mendy (cruciate) and Vincent Kompany (calf) have been joined on the injury list by Sergio Aguero (rib) after his recent car accident.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard; Morata
MAN CITY (Possible line-up): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo; De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, Jesus, Sane

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 2-1 Man City (5th April 2017)

RECENT FORM (PL)
CHELSEA: LWWWDW
MAN CITY: WDWWWW

OTHER STUFF
~ Chelsea were the only side to beat Manchester City home and away in the Premier League last season.
~ City’s 3-0 away victory in April 2016, is one of just two league and cup wins in their last 20 visits to Stamford Bridge (D5, L13).
~ Chelsea have won 10 of their 12 league games since mid-April, with the only defeat coming on the opening weekend of this season.
~ Chelsea’s tally of 13 points from the past five matches is the joint-highest in the division alongside the two Manchester clubs.
~ The goalless draw with Arsenal in their last Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge is the only time in 28 competitive home matches under Antonio Conte that Chelsea have failed to score.
~ A team managed by Conte has never failed to score in successive top-flight home fixtures.
~ City are the first side to score five or more goals in three consecutive top-flight games since Blackburn Rovers in August 1958.
~ City have scored a club record 21 league goals after six games.
~ City are unbeaten in 14 Premier League matches since losing at Chelsea on 5 April (W11, D3).
~ City could match the club top-flight record of five consecutive away victories, set from April to September 1912 and equalled in September 2015.

PREDICTIONS
BBC Sport: Chelsea 1-1 Man City
Sky Sports: Chelsea 1-1 Man City
Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-1 Man City

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