Chelsea host Manchester City in what promises to be a moth watering clash. While City come into the game on the back of an important win over PSG, which keeps their European dream alive, Chelsea must put the demons of their first loss to Swansea in the Premier League era behind them. The London club sit in a rather dismal 10th spot and will be keen to derail their guests bid for a Champions League spot.
Guus Hiddink will be delighted with the return of his main striker Diego Costa, who is now available after completing his 3 match ban. However, the Dutch manager will still be without a number of his key members that include Terry, Zouma, Matic, Hazard and Remy. We believe that Chelsea will line up in a familiar 4-2-3-1 with Fabregas and Mikel playing as the double pivot.
Begovic, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Fabregas, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Costa
Raheem Sterling and Vincent Kompany are set to miss the trip to London, while the likes of David Silva, Aguero and Fernando might be rested in light of the club’s European commitments. We expect Toure to take his spot in the middle of the park alongside the sensational Kevin De Bruyne.
Hart, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Mangala, Clichy, Fernandinho, Delph, Nasri, Toure, De Bruyne and Aguero.
The 28 year old midfielder has endured a rather tough season after being at his imperious best through the last season. Fabregas, who has missed just a single league game this season, often looks past his best and the match against Manchester City provides him with an opportunity to answer his critics. Having created 50 chances at almost 2 chances per 90 minutes, the Spanish midfielder remains a threat for Manchester City.
Operating in the double pivot alongside Mikel, he will have time and space to dominate the proceedings and will need to take the chance with both his hands. However, with City possessing a lethal attacking unit, Cesc will need to ensure his dirty work in the middle of the park to keep out the Citizens while running the show.
If there is one man Chelsea will be overly worried about; it has to be Argentine striker. While his ability in front of the goal is well documented, Aguero can also demolish the opposition with his intricate play. He will be up against the trio of Begovic, Ivanovic and Cahill and will be keen to leave his stamp on the game from the word go. With the likes of De Bruyne, Nasri and Toure behind him, there will be no dearth of creativity and Aguero could be well served against the London club.
- This will be the 145th meeting between these two sides in all competitions, with Chelsea having won on 58 occasions compared to City’s 48 wins.
- Guus Hiddink has not lost 2 consecutive games as a manager of a club since February 2004 while at PSV Eindhoven.
- Kevin De Bruyne has had a hand in 27 City goals (15 goals and 12 assists), the highest for Manchester City alongside Aguero.
While Manchester City come into the game on the back of Qualification into the Semifinals of the Champions League, they were pushed to their limits by PSG and that could have its effects on the evening against Chelsea. We predict that it will be a goal scoring draw at the Stamford Bridge.