Competition/Round: 2018/19 English Premier League Season – Matchday 27
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistants: Darren Cann, Dan Robathan
Fourth Official: Paul Tierney
TV Info: Sky Sports Premier League (UK); NBCSN (USA)
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Radio: BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Manchester (UK); TalkSport Radio World, SiriusXM FC (USA)
Another English Premier League classic will be underway as Manchester City host Chelsea.
Following Manchester City’s loss against Newcastle United, pundits and City fans alike believed the race for the EPL title race was over. Liverpool’s recent blip, however, has seen the Mancunian club reclaim the EPL’s top stop, albeit the Scousers have a game in hand. City overcame Arsenal and Everton earlier this week, and the Mancunians will look to make it three wins out of three over this seven day span.
Meanwhile, Chelsea find themselves in a difficult situation. The Londoners have only won two of their last five EPL fixtures, having drawn once and lost twice. They have performed well in other competitions, however. Chelsea overcame Tottenham Hotspur to book their place in the EFL “Carabao” Cup Final. The Londoners also advanced to the FA Cup Fifth Round, and are very alive in the UEFA Europa League.
How will these two sides fare on Sunday?
Manchester City are without the injured Benjamin Mendy, Claudio Bravo and Vincent Kompany. Eliaquim Mangala has returned from injury.
Chelsea’s Charly Musonda, Danny Drinkwater and Marco van Ginkel are all sidelined through injury and will not feature in this match. Antonio Rüdiger, who picked up a knock in the match against Bournemouth, is available.
Outside of the team, this is the fourth encounter between managers Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri. Guardiola won three of these fixtures, twice when City faced Sarri’s Napoli in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Group Stage, and then the FA Community Shield earlier this season. Sarri won the EPL match at Stamford Bridge.
Ederson; Danilo, Stones, Laporte, Delph; B. Silva, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Sterling, Agüero, Sané
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kanté, Jorginho, Kovačić; Hazard, Higuaín, Willian
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
This is the third time Manchester City will face Chelsea this season. They split their two previous encounters, where City defeated Chelsea in the FA Community Shield in August whilst Chelsea won the EPL fixture in December. Moreover, the two sides will face one another again in the EFL Cup Final on 24 February.
Given City’s recent form and resurgence in the EPL title race, several pundits, including our colleagues at We Ain’t Got No History, are predicting the Mancunian club to win on Sunday. What is important to note, however, is that this game is City’s third in seven days. This have given the squad minimal time to prepare for Chelsea. Moreover, fatigue will surely creep into the City side, thus negatively affecting their productivity on the pitch.
Chelsea have lately had woes in defence, particularly in the shocking result against Bournemouth. Yet their routing over Huddersfield Town last weekend has built up Chelsea’s confidence. The Londoners will believe they can get a result at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Sarri’s side already defeated City once before, and they will look to do it again on Matchday 27.
It is difficult to see City winning three matches in a row in such a short period of time. City’s front three will torment Chelsea’s defence, but it will come with issues of their own. Therefore, though this will be an open and exciting fixture, it is predicted the match will end in a draw.
Manchester City 2-2 Chelsea