Manchester City host Chelsea in a top match in the Premier League at lunchtime on Saturday.
This will be the second time in Premier League history that these clubs meet when they sit in the division’s summit. When the roles changed seven years ago, league-leading Blues drew 1-1 against City.
Here is everything you need to know before the match.
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When is kick off? Saturday 15 January, 12:30 (GMT)Where is the match played? Etihad StadiumTV channel / livestream? BT Sport (UK), Peacock (USA), DAZN (Canada)Highlights? Sky Sports Football YouTube, Today’s Match (22.30 – BBC One)Judge? Craig PawsonWHERE? Darren England
? Rodolfo Borrell says City hope to have Pep Guardiola back this week to personally oversee preparations for next Saturday’s game against Chelsea.
Download ? https://t.co/hquZ2Stav3
– Manchester City (@ManCity) January 9, 2022
City have been embroiled in a covid outbreak affecting seven players and 14 employees, including manager Pep Guardiola. However, the Catalan coach, along with the majority of the affected squad members, is expected to be available on Saturday.
Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez is guaranteed to be absent, while John Stone’s involvement is doubtful as he recovers from a knockout.
You can read Man City’s expected line-up here.
Reece James has yet to make an appearance in 2022 after ending a hamstring injury against Brighton on December 29 / Sebastian Frej / MB Media / GettyImages
Thomas Tuchel rested some key people ahead of Chelsea’s semi-final in the Carabao Cup with Tottenham in the middle of the week, certainly with the trip to the reigning Premier League champions in mind.
However, Reece James’ continued absence is far from voluntary as the full-back is suffering from a hamstring injury he suffered at the end of 2021. Defense colleague Trevoh Chalobah is also hesitant after straining the same area, while Ben Chilwell is still a long-term absence.
Edouard Mendy missed Senegal’s opening match in the Africa Cup of Nations after a positive covid test, so it is doubly unavailable.
You can read Chelsea’s expected line-up here.
Thomas Tuchel completed a remarkable hat-trick of victories over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City after the German coach took the reins halfway through the previous campaign; defeated Sky Blues three times in three different competitions, culminating in the Champions League final.
City took revenge with a victory at Stamford Bridge already in September, but Chelsea have defeated the reigning champions of England more often than any other club, over all competitions, during Guardiola’s brilliant tenure (seven).
Pep Guardiola (left) and Thomas Tuchel have met nine times with five different clubs / Pierre-Philippe Marcou – Pool / GettyImages
A position may separate the sides in the table, but City are ten points ahead of their nearest challengers in second place after more than half the season. City have the best home (and away) record in the Premier League this semester, with a more productive attack and sparse back line than Chelsea.
However, a pressing champion class with high specification was required for Guardiola’s team to squeeze in a 1-0 win thanks to a goal rejected by Gabriel Jesus in the reverse match. Chelsea have endured a bit of mixed form this winter (compared to City’s relentless results) but will certainly test a team that has suffered from covid-19.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea
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