Chelsea v City – What To Expect

If you had told any Chelsea fan back in August that their season could effectively be over by the 8th of January, you would have been met with some very negative responses.  

It would seem particularly ludicrous given the significant finalcial outlay that the new ownership had partaken in, with the signings of high profile players such as Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer. For an ambitious club like Chelsea, the idea that their campaign could be written off before the end of winter would seem almost unfathomable, yet this is the harsh reality that the Stamford Bridge faithful find themselves in. 

With the Blues already ten points adrift of the Top Four, and having been defeated by Man City in the EFL Cup at the start of November, they now face the same Manchester side twice in the space of three days across two competitions (Premier League and FA Cup respectively). 

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A defeat in both of those fixtures will mean that Chelsea’s only hope of silverware and success would be an incredible run in the Champions League, but based on current form, adding a third UCL trophy to the club’s trophy cabinet does not seem feasible. 

All this means that Graham Potter has a crucial few days ahead, in order for the season to not slip away from him entirely. The home Premier League fixture is up first and nothing short of a win will be sufficient. The defending league champions come to town on the back of a disappointing result last weekend at home to Everton. 

On a handful of occasions this season, City have shown that they are not completely infallible. However, Guardiola’s side are aware that they also cannot afford to drop any more points, as they bid to retain the trophy that Arsenal are currently primed to take from their grasp, so will head to Stamford Bridge in a determined mood. 

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The opportunity to play Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech from the start will be a welcome one for Potter, given their positive form during the World Cup, but the Chelsea boss will still be without many key players due to long-term injury problems. For Manchester City, Julian Alvarez is back in City training after the World Cup final so could return to the squad, but Aymeric Laporte is a doubt due to back problems, and Ruben Dias has injured his hamstring so is unlikely to feature.

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