Man Metropolis vs Chelsea Might 8, 2021 Match Preview and Stats
Manchester City have a chance to claim their third Premier League title in four years if they face Chelsea on Saturday night.
The two clubs will meet in the Champions League final later this month after facing Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. This dress rehearsal could provide an interesting insight into the showdown in Istanbul.
A win for Pep Guardiola’s men would confirm their status as champions of England, but they face a difficult task in the form of Thomas Tuchel’s side, who knocked them out of the FA Cup semi-finals a few weeks ago.
The 2-0 win against PSG on Tuesday night brought the Cityzens five straight wins in all competitions since Wembley lost to Chelsea.
However, the blues will also be optimistic about spoiling the party at Etihad Stadium. After a comfortable 2-0 win against Los Blancos last time, they reached the third European Cup final under Roman Abramovich’s tenure. With just one goal conceded in the last six games, they should test this tough town on the side.
Guardiola will have to do without John Stones again this weekend as the England international will play the last game of his three-game suspension. That means Aymeric Laporte will team up with Ruben Dias after an impressive midweek win.
Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo are likely to return to the starting XI for Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kyle Walker to form the rest of the last four ahead of the ever-reliable Ederson in goal.
It was a birthday to remember for 36-year-old Fernandinho when the French champions came to visit, but two high-intensity games in a week could be too much for the South American, which means Rodri will take his place at the base of midfield.
Alongside the Spaniard, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan will form the engine room in a crucial battle against Tuchel’s tactical setup.
On attack, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are desperate to earn a recall after watching the Champions League semi-finals from the sideline and Phil Foden’s impressive performance could be enough to keep his spot in the top three.
Trying to extend City’s inevitable coronation as Premier League champions and bolster their own top 4 hopes will be a Chelsea side that has improved dramatically under the guidance of their new manager.
Edouard Mendy has kept the number one sticks among the Germans despite the occasional use of Kepa, and the defensive in front of the Senegalese international has been some of the best in the world in recent weeks.
The encounter on Saturday could come too early for Thiago Silva after the 36-year-old played against Madrid for 90 minutes and Kurt Zouma was able to return to the first team alongside Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen.
Tuchel could also be tempted to turn the full-backs around given the physical demands placed on them, which means Marcos Alonso and Reece James could have another opportunity to impress.
In the double pivot positions, a combination of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante is likely to persist after their spectacular midweek performance as Mateo Kovacic continues to recover from a thigh injury.
An attacking trio of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner wreaked havoc on the biggest leg of their careers last time around, but with the options available on Stamford Bridge, it would be a shock to see all three features off-screen again.
The likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech will hopefully receive a callback if Chelsea try to maintain their three-point gap with West Ham United.