Men's Team

City make nine changes for key Chelsea clash

City make nine changes for key Chelsea clash
City make nine changes for today’s key Premier League home clash with Chelsea.

Ederson and Ruben Dias retain their places from the side that beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in Tuesday’s superb Champions League semi-final second leg victory.

Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Rodrigo, Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus all come into the starting eleven.

Kyle Waker, Oleks Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden all revert to the bench.

John Stones misses out on the game as he completes a three-match domestic suspension while Kevin De Bruyne is also absent as he is not fully fit for selection.

It’s a vital fixture as a victory for City at the Etihad this afternoon would see us crowned Premier League champions.

Teams

CITY: Ederson, Ake, Dias, Laporte, Mendy, Rodrigo, Cancelo, Sterling (c), Aguero, Jesus, Torres,

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Garcia, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden

CHELSEA: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Kante, Gilmour, Alonso, Ziyech, Werner, Pulisic

Subs: Kepa, Emerson, Livramento, Zouma, Jorginho, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Ambraham, Giroud

WATCH: Guardiola: I have huge respect for Tuchel

Formation

It looks as though Pep Guardiola could opt to tweak from the usual 4-3-3 formation that he has deployed this term with the boss potentially opting for a 3-3-2-2 line-up.

With Ederson – currently closing in on a second successive Premier League Golden Glove award – a reassuring presence in goal, the Brazilian keeper may well be protected by a back three of Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias.

The returning Rodrigo is likely to provide the defensive midfield shield with Joao Cancelo and Benjamin Mendy potentially pushed slightly further upfield as attacking wing backs.

Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres could well be utilised to provide width with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero operating as the twin strike spearhead.

However, we’ll have to wait until kick-off to see exactly how we shape up. The beauty of City though is that whatever formation we adopt, the players have the technical quality to shine.

Eyes on the prize

City couldn’t have a more tantalising incentive going into the game.

The mathematics are crystal clear for Pep Guardiola’s men. A victory this evening would be enough to see us regain the Premier League title and so secure a third league crown in four years.

Any other result would mean the attention would then switch to Manchester United’s visit to Aston Villa tomorrow afternoon.

English Premier League
11 Liverpool Liverpool 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 Manchester City Man City 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 Manchester United Man United 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

It won’t be easy against a Chelsea side who have impressed enormously under the stewardship of Thomas Tuchel.

However, a victory today would be the perfect way to round off a historic week which has already seen us secure a place in our first-ever Champions League final – ironically against today’s opponents with Chelsea having also reached the showpiece event.

Stats and facts

Head to head

City have lost to Chelsea in 26 Premier League matches, more often than against any other team.

However, Chelsea have lost nine of their past 12 fixtures at Etihad Stadium in all competitions - including on each of their past three league visits.

Chelsea haven't lost four successive Premier League away games against the same opponent since it happened against City from 2009 to 2013.
None of the past 11 Premier League meetings have finished level, with Manchester City winning seven to Chelsea's four.

Manchester City

City have won 20 of their past 22 Premier League matches. The 60 points they have earned during this run is only one fewer than Chelsea have managed all season.

We are only one point shy of last season's final tally of 80.

City have lost two of their past three home league games and could suffer consecutive top-flight defeats at the Etihad Stadium for the first time since February 2016.

A team managed by Pep Guardiola has never lost successive top-flight home fixtures. This is his 221st top-flight home match as a manager.

A third Premier League trophy would put Guardiola level alongside Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho as the non-British managers to win the most English top-flight titles.

Sergio Aguero is one short of equalling the Premier League record for most goals for a single club: 183 by Wayne Rooney for Manchester United.

Aguero is the leading Premier League goalscorer against Chelsea, with 10 goals.
Kevin de Bruyne has scored in three successive league matches against Chelsea.

Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel is the first manager to oversee 11 clean sheets in his first 15 Premier League matches in charge.

Chelsea are vying to win three league games in a row without conceding for the first time since November 2017.
They are unbeaten in their 11 away matches in all competitions under Tuchel, conceding just four goals (W8, D3).

Chelsea can go 12 consecutive away fixtures without defeat for the first time since a run of 15 from April to November 2014 under Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea are winless in all four league games in 2020-21 against the three teams currently above them in the table, managing just two points and one goal.

All eight of Kai Havertz's goals for Chelsea in all competitions have been scored in London, including seven at Stamford Bridge

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