Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Chelsea vs Man City in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.
Mason Mount will miss Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Manchester City due to a minor injury.
The England midfielder picked up a knock in Chelsea’s 4-3 Carabao Cup penalty shootout win over Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Edouard Mendy has shaken off a hip problem to start in goal, but Christian Pulisic is still sidelined with ankle trouble.
Man City could have John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Rodri back in contention as some of Pep Guardiola’s injury problems begin to subside.
The trio have returned to training this week and will be assessed on Saturday morning, but Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko are expected to again miss out.
Nathan Ake missed the midweek Carabao Cup win over Wycombe to attend his father’s funeral, but is expected to return against his former club.
How to follow
Follow Chelsea vs Man City in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel at 5.15pm.
Last time out…
Oh, hello. A monstrous football match – it’s just a shame it’s been selected for the lunchtime Saturday slot and such a showdown between the two title favourites has come so early in the season. Fine margins will be at play in what should be a cagey encounter full of chess-like moves between two outstanding managers. Picking a winner between these two who are almost going off identical prices with Sky Bet isn’t something I’m going to waste my time doing. It really is a must-not-lose for both. And the draw at 23/10 with Sky Bet is the sensible play.
My eyes are drawn to the cards market.
The fact this is an early-season clash between two title rivals does open the possibility of a slow burner with not much space on offer for each team on the counter-attack. A point is a perfectly acceptable result for both. That could lead to a low foul count involving two teams that rank low for yellow cards anyway.
In the period since Thomas Tuchel took charge, in terms of ever-present Premier League teams, Chelsea have been shown the joint-third least amount of cards (30) and City the second least (29). That averages out at just over one card per 90 minutes for each team. With referees seemingly happy to let the game flow more this campaign, referee Michael Oliver may want to reinforce that point in what is the highest-profile Premier League game so far and implement a ‘softly, softly’ approach. Something he did for the high-profile season opener between Brentford and Arsenal, where he failed to show a single card.
Sky Bet are expecting cards judging by their lines. I disagree. So, I’m happy to back under 40 booking points (10 for a yellow, 20 for a red) in the hope Oliver allows a closely fought game to flow without the need for him to get involved.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
- Chelsea have won their last three meetings with Man City in all competitions, in the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League. They last had a longer winning run against the Citizens between December 2005 and March 2009 (8 games).
- Manchester City have won three of their last six Premier League away games against Chelsea (L3), more than they had in their previous 23 visits to Stamford Bridge in the top flight (W2 D8 L13). The Citizens are looking to win back-to-back away top-flight games vs Chelsea for the first time since January 1955.
- None of the last 12 Premier League meetings between Chelsea and Manchester City have been drawn, with Chelsea winning five to City’s seven.
- Chelsea and Manchester City have the joint-best defensive records in the Premier League this season, with just one goal conceded each (also level with Liverpool). Meanwhile, the Blues have an xG against figure of 5.5, conceding over four goals fewer than would be expected based on the quality of chances faced – the best such difference in the division this term.
- Chelsea have kept 15 clean sheets in 24 Premier League games under Thomas Tuchel, more than any other side since the German took charge.