Chelsea will be aiming to consolidate their position in the top-four of the Premier League, when they hosts Pep Guardiola’s side on Thursday evening.
English Premier League Matchday 31 for 2019/20 campaign continues on Thursday with a mouthwash encounter as Blues welcome defending champions Manchester City to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are currently fourth in the league table, but they need to watching over their back as United reduced the gap to just two points with 3-0 victory over Sheffield United on Wednesday evening thanks to goals from Anthony Martial who nets his first ever senior hat-trick.
Frank Lampard’s side were impressive in their previous match, came from behind to beating Aston Villa 2-1 and they will be hoping to continues that momentum when they face the Sky Blues tonight. A win would also see them come within just a point of third-placed Leicester City who yet to get victory in their last games.
On other hand, Manchester City have been in superb form since the resumption of the campaign. Pep Guardiola’s men have registered back-to-back wins against Gunners and Burnley with eight goals and none conceded. They, however, remain 23 points behind leaders Liverpool and win over against Chelsea tonight will delay Jurgen Klopp’s men coronation.
The reverse fixture saw the Sky Blues win 2-1 at the Etihad in November as playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and winger Riyad Mahrez found the back of the net after N’Golo Kante had given Chelsea the lead. Ahead of their mouthwatering encounter on Thursday night, Sportarena takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Chelsea have no fresh injury concerns heading into the game on Thursday night. However, Frank Lampard will continue to be without the service of Fikayo Tomori, who is struggling from a muscular injury, while starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi remains a doubt with an ankle injury problem.
But midfielder Jorginho, who missed Blues 2-1 win at Aston Villa due to suspension, now back in selection for City clash. Boss Frank Lampard, meanwhile, could make a few changes to the team that defeated Aston Villa last weekend.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic
Pep Guardiola have been dealt a major blow as super-star striker Sergio Aguero picked up a knee injury in 5-0 win against Burnley on Monday night and will not be available for selection.
Defender John Stones will be available for selection due to ankle injury problem while Eric Garcia and Claudio Bravo remain doubts for the fixture.
Pep Guardiola made as many as eight changes for the game against Burnley and is once again expected to rotate his players on their visit to Stamford Bridge.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
- Chelsea have alternated between defeat and victory in their last four Premier League home games against Manchester City. They won this exact fixture 2-0 last season.
- Manchester City have won six of their last nine league matches against Chelsea (L3) – as many as they had in their previous 34 meetings with the Blues (W6 D7 L21).
- Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League matches against Manchester City.
- Manchester City lost their last Premier League game in London – a 0-2 defeat to Tottenham. They have not lost consecutive games in the capital since December 2015.
- Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has scored in his last three Premier League starts against Manchester City. Although, the goals came between January 2015 and May 2016,when he was at Arsenal.
Player to Watch
With Sergio Aguero doubt for Chelsea clash following a surgery on his knee, Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus will be the man to cause problems to the Chelsea back-line.
The 23-year-old has often shown this season that he is ready to step into the Argentine’s shoes and the remaining matches will provide him with ample opportunities to drive home that point.
Gabriel Jesus has been fine form this campaign, having scored 18 goals and contributing 10 assists in 41 matches across all competitions.
The 23-year-old relishes the trips to London, having either scored or assisted in seven of his eight starts in the capital. Expect him to cause some problems to the Chelsea backline that hasn’t looked assured for most of the season.