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Mahrez, Sterling and Sane all start at Chelsea

City field an attacking line-up for the early evening clash with Chelsea.

Riyad Mahrez keeps his place on the back of his midweek starring role against Watford and is likely to start on the right flank with Leroy Sane on the left.

Raheem Sterling looks set to start in a striking role, with Gabriel Jesus starting on the bench.

Aymeric Laporte and John Stones resume their central defensive partnership.

READ: Chelsea v City: Talking Points

READ: The day we believed...

Starting XI:

Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph, Fernandinho, D Silva (c), Bernardo, Sane, Mahrez, Sterling

Subs: Muric, Danilo, Kompany, Otamendi, Foden, G Jesus, Gundogan

 

ON STRIKE: Raheem Sterling

 

Team news and tactics:

No major changes tactically for City – at least on paper – with the champions expected to line up as a 4-3-3.

Pep will, no doubt, have worked in one or two tactical tweaks – maybe more – to cope with Chelsea’s expected high press and expect to see one or two long range passes from Ederson to set the Blues on the counter-attack.

 

THREAT: Riyad Mahrez

 

Keeping Messrs Willian, Eden Hazard, Ross Barkley and Jorginho at bay will not be easy – but the hosts will be equally wary of the City attack!

Sterling has played the central striker role before and will look to give his manager a headache this evening.

It would have been hard for Pep to have left Mahrez or Sane out given their recent form – and Gabriel Jesus may still have a major role to play in this clash.

Chelsea starting XI:

City looking to respond…

Liverpool’s 4-0 win at Bournemouth means the Blues start the day in the unfamiliar surrounds of second position.

The Merseysiders lead by a point, meaning a draw would be enough for the champions to resume pole position this evening.

It could be a case of both clubs swapping positions occasionally over the festive period – time will tell.

Last time...

 

JOB DONE: The City players celebrate after a huge victory

Highlights

Video

Chelsea v City: Extended highlights

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Stats and milestones

City can equal a Club record of 15 Premier League away games without defeat by preventing a Chelsea victory.

Chelsea are unbeaten against defending Premier League champions at Stamford bridge in the league since April 2002.

City have won all 18 games in all competitions this season in which we've scored in the first half.

Sterling has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other player this season (8 goals, 6 assists).

Sane has registered a goal or assist in each of his eight Premier League starts this season, scoring six and assisting five.

City’s goal difference of +38 is the best recorded by an English top-flight team after the first 15 matches of a season since Sunderland in 1892/93

City have a chance to secure a second successive top-flight victory at Chelsea for the first time since January 1955.

City also have an opportunity to beat Chelsea for the fourth time in a row in all competitions – something we have never done before. This is the 161st meeting between the teams.

Sane has contributed a goal or assist in his last eight Premier League starts this season, striking six times and assisting a further five goals.

 

 

 

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