Man City vs Chelsea preview
A minor inconvenience on City’s path to greatness or a slip-up in store? Chelsea, heavyweights in their regard, will hate that this fixture is looked at through this lens, but it is the reality of these two teams right now.
Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium in an uphill battle as City march towards their fourth Premier League title in five years, and three on the trot. While Manchester City will seek to make the final two matchdays a procession with a win here, Chelsea don’t have much to look forward to in the season except for playing for their wounded pride.
The Blues can’t make it to Europe anymore and as remarkable as it feels to say, are safe from relegation. After a win and a draw in their last two games, at least their losing streak has stopped. However, Etihad has never been a happy hunting ground for elite versions of Chelsea, let alone in this sorry state.
Here’s the match preview, predictions, team news, lineups, and more of this clash between two clubs trending in opposite direction-
Man City vs Chelsea lineups
Man City predicted lineup
With a turnaround team of barely more than three days and the deepest squad in Europe at his disposal, it is given that Pep Guardiola will rotate for this fixture.
Though that doesn’t mean Ederson won’t start. Changes could ring in the defensive setup ahead of him. Guardiola has experimented with a 3-2-4-1 and 4-2-3-1 this season and the former might be the formation of choice for this considering Chelsea’s threat from wingback positions.
Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake should come in place of Manuel Akanji and Kayle Walker to partner with key player Ruben Dias in defence.
Rodri is undroppable but John Stones, rechristened as a defensive midfielder, might make way for Ilkay Gundogan, who has made a habit of making a difference when the stakes are the highest. The attacking quartet behind Erling Haaland should see some changes due to a plethora of options available to Guardiola.
Julian Alvarez will almost certainly see a PL start after a goalscoring performance off the bench against Real Madrid. So too, will Kevin de Bruyne, Cityzens‘ creator-in-chief. Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez might come into the team in place of Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish, both of whom will get a well-earned rest after a masterful display against Los Blancos.
Predicted Man City lineup: Ederson, Laporte, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Foden, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Haaland
Chelsea predicted lineup
Chelsea’s form has been abysmal this season and injuries haven’t helped either. Seven crucial players are set to be unavailable for this fixture.
The likes of Reece James, Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic, and Marc Cucurella would arguably all make it into Chelsea’s preferred first XI but none are available due to various issues.
Even their goalkeeping situation is muddy, with neither Kepa or Mendy cementing the first-choice position. However, Kepa is slightly ahead of his competition.
In defence, ageless wonder Thiago Silva will continue, partnering with Benoit Badiashile. A dearth of fullback options means Trevoh Chalobah might have to continue in an unfamiliar position. Azpilicueta is also available but not likely to be preferred due to the pace of City’s wide men.
A midfield three of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Enzo Fernandes and Conor Gallagher will be tasked with countering City’s dizzying passing display.
Raheem Sterling will start after his brace against Nottingham Forest salvaged a point for his team in the last game. Alongside him should be Joao Felix and Kai Havertz.
Predicted Chelsea lineup: Kepa, Chalobah, Silva, Badiashile, Hall, Loftus-Cheek, Fernandez, Gallagher, Felix, Sterling, Havertz.
Man City vs Chelsea prediction
The home team is in a rampant mood, the away team is waiting for the season to finish and begin the next with a clean slate. This could get ugly.
Manchester City are chasing history and don’t look like stopping this season. Combine that with Chelsea’s listless form under Frank Lampard, especially their travails away from home, and one should back City for a comfortable win.
It might be a question of how many they score.
FootTheBall predicts Man City 4-0 Chelsea.