Chelsea and Manchester City highlight this weekend’s English Premier League fixtures, in a match that will be eagerly followed by every other club. A win at Stamford Bridge would keep City firm at the top of the table, but a win for Chelsea will breathe new life into the title race.
Chelsea start the game fourth in the standings (W4, D4, L2), but have won just once in their last four matches (W1, D1, L2). Derby loss to Tottenham and a surprise setback against Wolverhampton Wanderers have certainly put their title hopes on the back burner.
Manager Maurizio Sarri rested his key players for the midweek clash against Wolves keeping this match in mind, and of course paid a heavy penalty. A loss in this match could potentially throw them out of the top-four and 13 points adrift of the leaders. That means the onus is on the hosts to put their right foot forward.
City are unbeaten in the season (W13, D2) and have a two-point lead at the top over Liverpool, but could start this game in the second place. Pep Guardiola rotated his squad very heavily in the midweek clash against Watford, and was lucky to have come unscathed with all three points.
The strength and depth in City squad is probably the best in the league, underlined by the fact that they have dropped points only twice this season. They have already scored a whopping 45 goals this season, which conceding a mere seven.
This is a fixture that has been dominated by City in the recent times. The visitors have won the last three meetings without conceding a goal. Guardiola also has a bit of history against Sarri, winning all three of his previous meetings against Sarri’s sides.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Raheem Sterling is a wizard in the wings and the dazzling runs he makes is a treat to watch. The winger is a menace and could keep Azpilicueta deep in his own half. Dual benefit!
Bernardo Silva has often lived in the shadow of David Silva, but is showing his true colours in the recent matches. He was brilliant against Manchester United early last month and will certainly relish going forward against Chelsea.
Eden Hazard has a silken touch to his game that can help put the pressure on City. The dribbles, the passes, the assists and the goals – there are more ways than one that Hazard can help your fantasy team!
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Chelsea (probable XI): 1 Kepa Arrizabalaga 2 Cesar Azpilicueta 3 Antonio Rudiger 4 David Luiz 5 Marcos Alonso 6 N’Golo Kante 7 Jorginho 8 Mateo Kovacic 9 Pedro 10 Olivier Giroud 11 Eden Hazard
Manchester City (probable XI): 1 Ederson 2 Kyle Walker 3 John Stones 4 Aymeric Laporte 5 Fabian Delph 6 Bernardo Silva 7 Fernandhinho 8 David Silva 9 Riyad Mahrez 10 Gabriel Jesus 11 Raheem Sterling