They are two monied sides with the same ambitions – to rule domestically and to be a force on the continent. While Chelsea have made some history winning trophies in Europe, Manchester City recruited Pep Guardiola to make that history. The emphasis on Sunday is of course a local one.
Chelsea last won the EPL in 2017 and if there was a must-win moniker on any game since Frank Lampard assumed the managerial seat at Stamford Bridge – Sunday’s match is it.
Three losses, one win and a draw in the last five matches is not why Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich wrote that $230 million cheque in the summer to snag some of the best young talents, especially from Germany but both Timo Werner and Kai Hervetz have been underwhelming at best.
With the team lacking confidence, especially in attack, Chelsea must navigate a victory against a steadily improving City side that has conceded just two goals in their last two matches.
Recent Form: Chelsea [D-L-W-L-L]; Man. City [W-W-W-D-D]
25/06/20 PRL Chelsea 2 – 1 Man. City
23/11/19 PRL Man. City 2 – 1 Chelsea
24/02/19 LEC Chelsea 0 – 0 Man. City
10/02/19 PRL Man. City 6 – 0 Chelsea
08/12/18 PRL Chelsea 2 – 0 Man. City
Prediction: Chelsea 1-3 Man. City
Guardiola confirmed on Friday that City will have at least five players missing from Sunday’s encounter because of positive COVID-19 tests. Before Friday, it had been revealed Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker were already ruled out and an inadvertent Instagram post from first choice goalkeeper, Ederson, suggests the Brazilian could be one of the other three to miss out. Chelsea’s only concern is Reece James, who continues to struggle with a knee injury and will sit this one out.
History of this encounter
This will be the 151st meeting between the two sides with Chelsea holding the slight advantage in their head-to-head record 77-73. There have been some massive results in this encounter but one that clearly sticks out is the 1-0 defeat suffered by Chelsea on October 16, 2004, the only defeat suffered by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the 2003/04 season. City pummeled Chelsea 6-0 in Maurizio Sarri’s time in charge and the 3-1 comeback win in 2016 by Chelsea at the Etihad, which largely helped Antonio Conte to the EPL title.
Terry Phelan moved from City to Chelsea in 1995; Daniel Sturridge also took the same journey in 2009 while Shaun Wright-Phillips crossed to the Bridge in 2005 for £21m but then made the return trip in 2008 for £8.5m. Former England defender, Wayne Bridge departed Chelsea for City in 2009.
Managers’ Quotable Quote
“You’re not going to go from zero to 100 so you have to be ready for those times. I think one of my strengths hopefully is never being too excited when we’re going well, I was trying to dampen flames after Leeds for instance when everyone was talking us up, and then my job is to not be too down when we have results go against us.” – Frank Lampard, Chelsea Manager
“Like I’ve said before, I don’t even think about what will happen on Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday. We will travel to London and get tests from Premier League and see who are negative, we then decide the team [to face Chelsea]. When the opponent is better, we congratulate them, but we go to Stamford Bridge to play to win.” – Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Manager
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