The fixture between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday the 3rd of January is a huge game for both teams. The hosts begin this round of fixtures in 6th place on 26 points while the visitors are in 8th place, on the same number of points but with two games in hand.
Chelsea come into the match having been held to a 1-1 draw in their most recent Premier League outing against Aston Villa. The Blues took the lead after 34 minutes of the game but were put on the back foot immediately in the second half as Aston Villa came out strongly and scored the equalising goal. That result means Chelsea have won only one of their last 5 Premier League matches.
There have been defeats against Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Arsenal in that run of 5 games. The poor form has seen Chelsea fall 7 points behind the leaders and they cannot afford to keep dropping points if they are to challenge for the title this season.
Chelsea have remained undefeated in each of their last 11 home matches is in all competitions but there have been 3 draws in their 6 most recent home games in Premier League. Both teams have scored in 4 of their last 6 Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City travel south having defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at home on the 26th of December. All bets were off as their following fixture was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Manchester City squad. Thankfully, recent testing has allowed Manchester City to return to training and play this match.
Manchester City come into the game having remained undefeated in their last 10 games in all competitions. They have won 4 and drawn 2 of their 6 most recent Premier League matches, with victories coming at home against Burnley, Fulham, and Newcastle United. Away from home is where Manchester City have been struggling to find consistency and they have won only 2 of their last 6 matches on the road.
The wins have come at Sheffield United and Southampton but Manchester City have been held at Leeds united, West Ham United, and Manchester United. The Citizens also suffered a defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.
Manchester City have succeeded in keeping a clean sheet in 8 of their 10 most recent games in all competitions, including 3 of their last 4 away Premier League matches. However, they have failed to score more than a single goal in each of their last 6 away league games.
Team news and Chelsea are set to recall Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva to central defence. It was clear they missed the duo in the draw with Aston Villa. Cesar Azpilicueta may have to continue at right-back in the absence of Reece James, while Callum Hudson-Odoi could keep his place in the starting XI following a strong performance against Aston Villa.
Manchester City will be without Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus who both tested positive for COVID-19 over Christmas. Eric García is injured while there are doubts over the fitness of Ilkay Gündogan. Sergio Agüero could make a rare start up-front and Pep Guardiola will be hoping to see the best of Kevin De Bruyne, who has not been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks.
Neither team can afford to drop points in this game as they aim to keep pace with Liverpool and Manchester United at the top of the table. Therefore, we could see a tight match, with the teams wary about losing the game rather than taking risks to win. It would not be a surprise to see both teams find the back of the net but with a low scoring draw, so a 1-1 final score is a possibility.