Stamford Bridge is the venue for Saturday’s big clash between Premier League title holders Manchester City and strong contenders Chelsea. This is the first meeting between the two teams after the Champions League final in Lisbon, a game which resulted in Chelsea being crowned the champions of Europe. City have failed to win in the previous three back-to-back fixtures against Chelsea. Can Pep Guardiola’s men avenge their Champions League final defeat?
The Blues have made an unbeaten start to their season and are looking like the top contenders for this season’s Premier League title. Chelsea currently are top of the Premier League table, equal on points with Liverpool and Manchester United. They have grabbed thirteen points from a maximum of fifteen. Chelsea defeated their London rivals, Tottenham, in their previous fixture in the and are in brilliant form. To add to all that, they are yet to concede from open play.
Thomas Tuchel does have few injury concerns in his squad, with Pulisic set to miss out due to an ankle concern. Goalkeeper Mendy’s availability is doubtful too. But Chelsea’s squad depth will be able to cope with any injury concerns. N’Golo Kante produced a brilliant second-half display as a substitute in the game against Spurs and looks set to start the game.
Chelsea have scored twelve goals this season, which puts them in third place, just one goal separating them from their opponent. They are also above City in average goals per 90.
The visitors started the defence of their Premier League campaign with a defeat at the hands of Spurs. But since they have seemed to get back in fine form in their recent games, scoring plenty of goals in the process. Pep Guardiola’s team currently sit fifth in the table, with three wins, one draw and one loss in their first five fixtures. They recently dispatched Wycombe in the EFL Cup, scoring six and conceding one. Guardiola has many injury concerns in his team. Gundogan was the latest player to get injured in their goalless draw against Southampton. Rodri, Zinchenko, Laporte and Stones all seem set to miss out as well. Guardiola will be hoping that his young players are able hold the fort in his side’s clash against Chelsea.
City are placed fifth in the total goals scored, while their average goals per 90 puts them in fourth spot in the league.
Looking at the shots on target, both the teams are competing fiercely. With many young players in form for both teams, it would be interesting to see how both the managers take on each other.
City’s injury concerns mean that they have to depend on their younger players. But Chelsea did have a later midweek fixture against Aston Villa in the EFL Cup. Tiredness could play a minor role, although Chelsea also have the squad depth to cope with it. This is a close fixture to call, but Chelsea just might come out on top.