Chelsea are under pressure to rediscover their best form as they confront in-form Manchester City today in the big game of the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s City have been remarkably unplayable this season. The champions have won 13 of their 15 Premier League games and have not tasted defeat in the league since April.
As for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues, the fourth-placed side were unbeaten in their first 12 Premier League games but went down (2-1) at Wolves on Wednesday. That was their second defeat in three straight games.
Now 10 points behind the leaders, Chelsea know there is no better time to be at their best against Guardiola’s formidable men.
Sergio Aguero and midfielder De Bruyne have been ruled out of the clash, according to Guardiola. While the Belgium international has a knee problem, Aguero is struggling with a muscle issue.
Sarri reported no serious injuries and is expected to restore Jorginho and David Luiz to Chelsea’s starting line-up for Saturday’s visit City. Mateo Kovacic could start and Olivier Giroud could come in up front.
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Rdiger, David Luiz, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovatic, Pedro, Hazard and Giroud.
Man City: Elderson, Stones, Laporte, Walker, Delph, Fernandinho, B. Silva, David Silva, Sterling, Sane and Jesus.
Opta statistics you need to know
- Chelsea have lost two of their last three home Premier League games against Man City (W1), having lost just two of their first 18 against them in the competition (W11 D5 L2).
2. Manchester City haven’t won consecutive top-flight visits against Chelsea since January 1955.
3. Manchester City have never won four consecutive matches against Chelsea in all competitions – this is the 161st meeting between the teams.
4. Chelsea had just seven shots against Man City across their two Premier League meetings last season – only Leicester vs Man City (4) and Huddersfield vs Liverpool (6) had fewer against an opponent last season.
5. The reigning top-flight champions haven’t won at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in the Premier League since April 2002, when Man Utd won 3-0; the Blues have won five and drawn six of 11 matches since then.
6. This will be the fifth time Chelsea have faced Man City in the Premier League with the Citizens top of the table – Chelsea won the first two (December 2011 and December 2016), while Man City won both last season.
7. Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 14 away Premier League games (W11 D3) – they’ve never gone 15 without defeat on the road in the top-flight before.
8. Maurizio Sarri hasn’t lost two successive league games as a manager since October 2016, when Napoli lost in Italy’s Serie A against Atalanta & Roma.