Match Preview Manchester City vs Chelsea – prediction, team news, lineups
Another week brings another chance for Manchester City to land a blow on one of their Premier League (PL) pursuers, and beating Chelsea could amount to a knockout as victory would put them 13 points clear of the Londoners. The league leaders enter this clash in ominous form, having won their last seven competitive matches while scoring an average of 3.57 goals per game!
With five straight home league wins under their belt, fans of the ‘Cityzens’ will expect a good show, particularly as their last two PL matches at the Etihad produced an eye-watering 16 goals! Although the side scoring first has subsequently won the last ten PL affairs here that saw goals (City: W9, L1), it’s worth noting that the last team to buck that trend was Chelsea when they secured a 2-1 comeback win here last term.
That should offer hope to the second-placed visitors who haven’t lost a competitive fixture since early December (W6, D5). They’ve come through a busy festive period relatively unscathed and are still battling on four fronts after getting past Spurs in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, although any signs of fatigue could see a trend of four of their last seven games featuring goals after the 75th minute continue.
The ‘Blues’ are unlikely to be overawed by the task of taking on Man City as they’ve won three of the last four H2Hs, including the Champions League final last term. However, just one clean sheet in four PL away games could spell danger, as Chelsea haven’t kept one here in eight attempts.
Players to watch: İlkay Gündoğan has scored the third match goal in two of Man City’s last four competitive matches, while Hakim Ziyech completed the scoring for Chelsea in their FA Cup win over Chesterfield last weekend, and has also netted after half-time in two of the last four H2Hs.
Hot stat: Both City and Chelsea have been trailing at the 15-minute mark just once in the PL this term.
Referee: Pawson C. (Eng)
Venue: Etihad Stadium (Manchester)