Two heavyweights go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night when Manchester City travel to Chelsea in the Premier League.
Both sides have dropped points since returning from the break, so a victory here would be vital as we head into a packed January schedule.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the huge clash…
City currently find themselves seven points adrift of leaders Arsenal. Defeat to Brentford before the break and crucial dropped points at home to Everton has left them with a significant hill to climb.
After a routine win away at Leeds for their first game back, it looked as though Pep Guardiola and his team were back doing what they do best. Especially with Erling Haaland bagging twice to put to bed any concerns about a lack of action. Rodri scored first to get them off and running.
A struggling Everton at the Etihad was up next. Given the Toffees’ form heading into the game, three defeats and a draw, this one should have been routine, too.
Once again, Haaland was on hand to give City the lead with his 21st goal of the season. A staggering number considering we aren’t even halfway through yet!
But Everton came roaring back courtesy of a Demarai Gray screamer from just inside the area. City were unable to find the winner, meaning more dropped points in the title race.
Chelsea went into the pause with three defeats on the bounce. Losses to Newcastle, Arsenal and Brighton saw them slip down the league table. In fact, before the break, they hadn’t won a league game since October 16th, with draws to Brentford and Manchester United before the losing streak started.
A win over Bournemouth and a solid performance will have had fans hoping that their worst form was behind them.
But a draw with struggling Nottingham Forest followed and with just two shots on target in the entire game, Graham Potter and his Blues didn’t deserve much more from the game.
Supporters will be hoping a win over the current champions can reignite the spark at Stamford Bridge.
In the last 10 Premier League meetings between the two, Man City have won seven. The Citizens will be the favourites to take home the win here given Chelsea’s poor form this season.
City have won the last two meetings between the sides and will be looking to make it three-in-a-row for the first time since 2010.
For Chelsea, all the focus will be on dealing with City’s deadly number nine. Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly will have their work cut out up against Haaland. A key battle that could decide the game.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Trevor Chalobah drop into a three-man defence for some extra manpower. This would also allow Potter to push his full-backs forward for added attacking threat from the wings. Reece James will be a huge miss, but César Azpilicueta is always a dependable option in defence, even if he doesn’t offer as much going forward.
We can’t see past a Manchester City win, here. Chelsea’s form has been far too poor, with a lack of goals and a leaky defence, it could get messy for Potter and his team.
City will be looking to respond after their wobble at home to Everton. With no additional injury concerns and Julián Álvarez returning after his World Cup win, we think City will be too strong. A 0-3 away win is our prediction.
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JD Football | November 21, 2023