|Chelsea host City on Saturday with the hope of compounding Guardiola's problems, who will take the day? (Photo credit: Premierleague.com)|
Chelsea vs Manchester CityStamford Bridge Stadium12:30pm
The Blues and the Sky Blue half of Manchester, more like a grudge match, a rematch of note after all that happened last season, an early precursor to what might be and maybe, what might never happen, too early to be a title decider but the outcome of this game will tell us where the pendulum is swinging.
Chelsea beat Manchester City every time they have faced them under German tactician Thomas Tuchel, once in the semifinal of the FA Cup which Chelsea went on to lose to Leicester City, a league game at the tail end of the season which didn’t stop City from being champions and then, the champions league final which broke hearts across the Etihad and calls for revenge, is this the day?
The Blues are off to a flyer, convincing wins here and there, two already away at London rivals – Arsenal and Tottenham and a well deserved point also away to Liverpool on a day they had to do it with ten men.
The Champions are blowing hot and cold, another two points were dropped last weekend at home to Southampton and a loss here will take them completely off the track, they don’t want to go six points behind after just six games, they must come to the party at Stamford Bridge.
How can City compete without a striker? They won the league last season without really relying on one, Gabriel Jesus is the only recognized striker in the City squad but Ferran Torres has been the one stealing the show, the Brazilian might sit this one out as Pep Guardiola goes for possession as always.
The return of Kevin De Bruyne could help City if he’s fit enough to start, Phil Foden impressed greatly in midweek in the Carabao Cup albeit against a lot lesser opposition but his fitness is also an idea Guardiola will welcome.
Chelsea are in a great shape, doing fine without cracks at the moment and everyone knows their job; Chelsea’s second strings however struggled past Aston Villa in the league cup on Wednesday but certainly got the job done.
Romelu Lukaku will lead the line again but Tuchel will make a decision in the middle of the pack to decide if N’golo Kante starts or another look in for Spaniard Saul Niguez.