Premier League action returns following the international break and there is a mouth-watering game to look forward to on Saturday evening at the Etihad Stadium, as fourth placed Manchester City welcome third placed Chelsea.
Man City stuttering
Manchester City come into the game off the back of a 3-1 defeat at title rivals, Liverpool. That has seen the current champions fall nine points behind the Reds in the title race and means they have already lost three league games this campaign; which is significant as they only lost four during the whole of last season.
As well as that defeat at Liverpool, City also lost 2-0 recently at home against Wolves, their only defeat at the Etihad this season. Despite that setback, they still have the third best home record in the Premier League and remain the top goal scorers with 35, which means they are averaging almost three goals per game.
After a slow start under new manager, Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s young guns are beginning to cause a real stir in the Premier League and the Champions League with their attacking flair and exciting brand of football. Domestically, they are the form side, having won their last six league games on the spin, which has seen them move above City into third place.
They have the second-best away record in the division, winning five and losing one of their six league games on the road, and are averaging three away goals per game. The value of Tammy Abraham continues to rise after his 10 league goals so far this season, which leaves him second in the top scorer charts. He also recently scored his first international goal for England too.
The clubs first met in the Premier League in 1992, with Chelsea winning 1-0 at Maine Road, and it is the Stamford Bridge outfit who have the better record between the two sides in the Premier League.
However, City have won three of their last four league meetings, including a 6-0 demolition of Chelsea last season at the Etihad, thanks to a Sergio Aguero hat-trick, two from Raheem Sterling and an Ilkay Gundogan strike. Chelsea last won at City in 2016, winning 3-1 with goals from Diego Costa, Willian and Eden Hazard.
The sides last met in February in the League Cup Final at Wembley. The game finished 0-0 but City eventually won on penalties to claim the first piece of silverware in their domestic treble success last season.
This game could well be a classic. City are under pressure to catch Liverpool, so they have to go for the win. However, Chelsea’s young side show no signs of fear wherever they go and will be a constant threat to the hosts on the break.
Expect goals, with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne carrying the obvious threat for the hosts, whilst Tammy Abrahams and Christian Pulisic will hope to keep up their excellent recent run of goals.
The game could be one of the most open the Premier League has seen this season, but City have more to lose which might stifle some of their usual confident passing. This could finish 3-2 to either side.
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