Manchester City lock horns with Chelsea on Saturday in what will be a rehearsal of the UEFA Champions League set to be played later this month. It could be an important game from Premier League’s context as well, with Chelsea hoping for a win that could help them maintain their lead in the race for the Champions League places this season.
Man City, in contrast, need only a win to secure their third Premier League title in four years. The Citizens mostly don’t have much to play for, but they will be seeking retribution after being knocked out by Chelsea in the FA Cup earlier this year.
Manchester City Vs Chelsea Tactical Preview
Guardiola has some key decisions to make after failing against Tuchel earlier this year. It will be essential that Manchester City dominates possession, but they need to be careful of the opposition’s quick transition, which means the Catalan might enforce a defensive 4-3-3 with at least one of the fullbacks acting in an inverted role to provide numerical superiority in the middle of the park.
Chelsea are quite strong in the middle, which is one of Tuchel’s main assets. However, against Manchester City, he needs to find out certain weak points of a side that are supreme in possession and have excellent defenders. The Blues might not take too many risks and build the tempo gradually.
John Stones remains suspended for Manchester City, so the general rotation policy from Pep Guardiola should see Aymeric Laporte accompany Ruben Dias at centre-back. Rodri, too, could come into the side, along with Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus while Sergio Aguero is an option on the bench.
Probable Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Foden, Gabriel, Sterling
Mateo Kovacic is a doubt for Chelsea heading into this fixture. Tuchel, however, will be hoping to field the strongest possible eleven, knowing he simply cannot afford a defeat on Saturday. We do expect certain alterations, though, especially in the wingback department while Timo Werner is likely to be used as a substitute
Probable Lineup: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz
Kevin de Bruyne has usually been the main man for Manchester City in big games like these. There is no exception this time around, as the Belgian hopes to put his technical prowess and vision to good use and breach the Chelsea defence that has appeared rock solid under Thomas Tuchel.
As for Chelsea, Christian Pulisic will have a point to prove after being dropped from the starting eleven in midweek. The American international has voiced his frustration over his role at Chelsea but will be aware of the fact that a solid performance against Man City could give him an excellent chance of starting in the UCL final.