Watch Amazing: Champions League finalists meet in the Premier League

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Chelsea meets Manchester City
Barcelona Agency

When Manchester City hosts Chelsea at the Etihad on Saturday. They will be hoping to cement their place as Premier League champions. Chelsea meets Manchester City

The Premier League title race is almost over, but statistical confirmation remains a formality. Manchester City will have a chance to seal the deal this weekend when they host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening. In what will serve as a kind of warm-up for the UEFA Champions League final later this month.

Manchester City has been outstanding since December, despite losing a couple of league games at home in the last month or so. But, with the best defensive and offensive records in the league, it’s no surprise that the Citizens are sailing to the championship, with nearest rivals Manchester United trailing by 13 points.

The victory over PSG, which confirmed their place in the UEFA Champions League final. Would have boosted Pep Guardiola’s team even further. Chelsea will join Manchester City in the final in Istanbul later this month. Having beaten Real Madrid to earn a date with their rivals.

The Blues have improved dramatically under Thomas Tuchel’s guidance, having held a clean sheet in 18 of their 24 games since he took over. Furthermore, Chelsea demonstrates a more substantial attacking pedigree with each passing game. As evidenced by recent victories over Fulham and Real Madrid.

Chelsea and Manchester City have already met twice this season. The Citizens defeated the Blues in the reverse fixture before being defeated 1-0 by Thomas Tuchel’s side in the FA Cup semi-final last month. The Hard Tackle examines the matchup ahead of the most recent meeting between the two teams.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola has been boosted in terms of team news ahead of Chelsea’s visit, with John Stones returning after serving a three-match suspension. However, due to illness, Eric Garcia could be unavailable once more.

On the other hand, Stones could be given a rest after his appearance against PSG earlier this week. Ruben Dias is also due a rest, but given the importance of the game, he may start alongside Aymeric Laporte in the Manchester City defense. Joao Cancelo and Benjamin Mendy, who is improving, should be the two full-backs out there.

Kevin De Bruyne, a former Chelsea midfielder, will be Manchester City’s primary creator, with Rodri expected to replace Fernandinho at the base of the midfield. Ilkay Gundogan, City’s top scorer this season, will likely be the third man in the three-person squad. Aiming to make late runs into the Chelsea box, searching for scoring opportunities. While also creating pockets of space with his movement. Chelsea meets Manchester City

Personnel selection would be one of the most critical decisions in the attack. Sergio Aguero, who has a link with a move to Chelsea. Could start each of the final four games and lead Manchester City’s attack on Saturday. With Riyad Mahrez and Ferran Torres on the bench, the Argentine would most likely flank by Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Sterling, Aguero, Foden

Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel, like his counterpart in the Manchester City dugout, has no new injury problems hampering his preparations for the journey to the Etihad. Mateo Kovacic is still out with a hamstring injury. So that the Chelsea manager will be missing only one first-team player on Saturday.

Because of Kovacic’s absence, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante. Who shone against Real Madrid earlier this week, will continue to play together in the double midfield pivot. Kante seems to have rediscovered his exuberantly attacking side and will look to provide the forward thrust from midfield. While still keeping an eye on Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.

The remainder of Chelsea’s starting Lineup, on the other hand, could see some changes, with Tuchel hinting at a freshening up during his pre-match press conference. Changes should be made mainly in attack, with Christian Pulisic having a chance to show what he can do. Chelsea meets Manchester City

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However, with Chelsea still in the hunt for a top-four finish, Tuchel does not want to jeopardize his team’s balance. So Mason Mount, the Blues’ creative force, may keep his place. Simultaneously, Kai Havertz will lead the line against Manchester City, aiming to score his first goal in Chelsea colors outside London.

As the right wing-back, Reece James can deserve a recall, and his performance will decide how much imaginative work Mount gets to do. On the left side, Ben Chilwell is in the same boat. Thiago Silva will rest on defense, with Cesar Azpilicueta expected to drop to the backline and start alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger in the three-person squad.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Pulisic, Mount; Havertz

Key Stats

  • Manchester City has lost to Chelsea 26 times in the Premier League, more than any other club. On the other hand, Chelsea has lost nine of their last 12 games in all competitions at Etihad Stadium, including each of their previous three Premier League visits.
  • Manchester City has won 20 of its previous 22 Premier League games. This run has netted them 60 points, which is less than Chelsea has managed all season. The People, meanwhile, are just one point short of their final count of 80 from last season.
  • Thomas Tuchel is the first manager in Premier League history to keep 11 clean sheets in his first 15 games. Chelsea, meanwhile, is attempting to win three consecutive league games without conceding for the first time since November 2017.
  • Manchester City has lost two of their last three Premier League home games and may suffer back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time since February 2016. On the other hand, Chelsea is undefeated in 11 away games in all competitions under Tuchel, with just four goals conceded (W8 D3). For the first time since Jose Mourinho’s 15-match unbeaten run on the road from April to November 2014, the Blues will go 12 games without losing.
  • Sergio Aguero is one goal shy of equaling Wayne Rooney’s Premier League record of 183 goals for a single club set by Manchester United. With ten goals against Chelsea, Aguero is the Premier League’s top goalscorer.
Chelsea meets Manchester City
Barcelona Agency

Player to Watch

Raheem Sterling

A game of this size almost always has many players who can alter the outcome on their own. Kevin De Bruyne, Mason Mount, and Phil Foden come to mind. But we’ve decided to go with Raheem Sterling for this section due to the increasing confusion surrounding his Manchester City future.

Sterling has been one of Pep Guardiola’s most valuable players for several years. However, a poor season has added to his pressure, mainly because Foden and Riyad Mahrez have been outstanding since the turn of the year. With time running out for him, the game against Chelsea is the best opportunity to make a point. Will the Englishman be able to deliver?

Prediction

Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea

That’s one of those games that can turn into a chess match as the minutes’ pass. To gain an advantage over the other ahead of the UEFA Champions League final, neither Manchester nor Chelsea can give an inch. There could be a few opportunities on either end of the pitch, with Chelsea seeking a top-four finish as well. Chelsea meets Manchester City

That is, however, a match between two of the Premier League’s most defensive solid units at the moment. On the other hand, Chelsea would fancy their chances given Manchester’s City recent struggles at the Etihad. However, there might not be anything separating the two teams in the end. Which is why The Barcelona Agency predicts a 1-1 draw between the Champions League finalists.

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