Chelsea face league leaders Manchester City in this weekend’s Premier League’s high voltage clash at the Etihad Stadium. Chelsea sit 2nd in the league table ahead of Liverpool who have a game in hand with 43 points from 21 games aiming to take the game on City in order to close the gap at the top of the table. The Blues have failed to win their last 2 Premier League games and Thomas Tuchel will be hoping for his players to get back to winning ways on Saturday. This week’s Carabao Cup semi-final win against rivals Tottenham Hotspur will give the Blues confidence to go on and give the defending champions a tough fight on their own ground.
Predicted 3-4-2-1 Chelsea Lineup Vs Manchester City
Kepa Arrizabalaga will continue between the sticks for Chelsea in the absence of Edouard Mendy who will be missing due to international duty. Kepa will have to be at his top form in order to keep the Manchester City attackers at bay on Saturday.
Thiago Silva will return to the starting XI in place of the young Malang Sarr at the heart of the defence on Saturday. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen will continue at centre-back for the Blues and Thomas Tuchel will know that his defenders will have no room for errors when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad. The Chelsea defenders will be aware of the fact that they won’t be able to afford any space to the City attackers to work with if they are to have any chance of keeping a cleansheet.
Malang Sarr will be on the bench as a cover as the Blues continues to miss Trevoh Chalobah with a hamstring injury.
N’Golo Kante is expected to return to the starting lineup on Saturday and start alongside Mateo Kovacic who put up a man of the match performance against Liverpool to start the new year. Kante will be looking to nullify the City attacks from the middle of the park protecting the Chelsea centre-backs as Kovacic will like to dictate the tempo of the game by being press-resistant. Jorginho will take up the place on the bench alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Saul Niguez on Saturday.
Marcos Alonso will replace Callum Hudson-Odoi at left full-back who started vs Spurs on Wednesday. Cesar Azpilicueta will continue playing at right full-back in the absence of Reece James. Both James and Chilwell will be key misses for Tuchel as they are out with long term injuries.
Romelu Lukaku is expected to lead the line for the Blues with the likes of Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic behind him. Mason Mount has been Chelsea’s top scorer in the league this season and his touch of form will be the key to Chelsea’s build-up play in order to hurt City at the back. The likes of Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech will have to be on the bench and provide options for Tuchel to bring on in the later stages of the game.