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City v Chelsea: Need to know

Last season’s Premier League top two meet at the Etihad Stadium in only the second game of the embryonic 2015/16 campaign.

While both managers have stressed this is too early in the season to be called a title decider, the pair will both be keen to lay down an early marker for the rest of the pack.

It’s an exciting game for City fans and the club as a whole – as well as a fitting welcome back after the long summer, the newly expanded Etihad Stadium is set to open officially after Wednesday’s successful test event.

The extra 7000 seats means a new record home attendance for City in the Premier League era, and the players will be keen to celebrate the milestone with all three points and a stylish display on the pitch.

Last term’s hero in this fixture, former Chelsea man Frank Lampard, has now moved to New York City FC, but there could be a home debut for summer signing Raheem Sterling.

On the other side of the coin, Chelsea will be giving a first start to summer acquisition Asmir Begovic, with the former Stoke keeper set to keep goal for Jose Mourinho’s men as Thibaut Courtois begins the first of his three match suspension.

Here’s everything you need to know about the first home game of the season…


Need to know:

Match: City v Chelsea

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date and Time: Sunday 16 August 2015, 4pm BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Last Time: City 1-1 Chelsea, 21/9/14

Head to Head Record: City wins 13, draws 22, Chelsea wins 35

TV and Radio: Sky Sports 1, BBC Radio Manchester (Global TV listings)

Ticket info: Sold out


Team news:

Out for City: Fabian Delph (Hamstring), Fernando (Groin)

Doubts for City: Gael Clichy will face a late fitness test after an ankle injury

Out for Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois (Suspended)

Doubts for Chelsea: Oscar (match fitness)


Key quotes:

Manuel Pellegrini: "We are not thinking about the title in the second game but we are thinking about trying to win our points at home, especially as we are playing against the champions and one of the teams that has a lot of chances to win the title."

Sergio Aguero: “One thing you can say about the Premier League is that every year, it gets better. Once again, many teams have made very important additions and that means there’s no single rival for us this season. It’d be very naive to think that Chelsea will be the only team competing for the top position - there will be many of us and each one will challenge in their own style. We’ll stay hungry for glory, we’ll do our jobs, we’ll win all we possibly can and see where that takes us.”

Raheem Sterling: “Everyone has strengthened their squads and the Premier League is always hard to second guess. Chelsea are very strong in every department from their defence and midfield to their attack, but it should be a good game and I’m really looking forward to playing in this match.”

Jose Mourinho: "I cannot say [this match] is not crucial, I cannot say it's not very, very, very important. They are title contenders so three points are important, but I cannot say that a win will mean anything significant."

Nemanja Matic: “These are the games I like to play in. It’s something special for all of us. We are prepared. Our statistics against big teams show how he (Mourinho) prepares for these games and I’m happy because of that.”


Further reading:

Talking Points: Will Toure get the better of Matic?

Sterling predicts closest title race yet

Aguero: It would be naïve to see Chelsea as our only title challenger

Pellegrini: We are not thinking about the title in our second game

Picture Special: Open training at the Etihad

City v Chelsea: Global TV Listings

First Team News

Pellegrini without two for Chelsea clash

First Team News

Talking Points: Will Toure get the better of Matic?

First Team News

Aguero’s race against time for Chelsea