Wounded Manchester City will host Chelsea at the Etihad in this Premier League late kickoff as the battle for title glory continues to intensify. Just for the first time this season, the hosts are winless in their last two games in all competitions as they prepare to face the Blues who have hit the ground running with a string of impressive performances.
Premier League 2019/2020 season
Date: Saturday, 23rd November 2019
Venue: Etihad Stadium
TV Channel: Sky Sports.
Manchester City must have felt hard done by with the plethora of controversial officiating calls that went against them at Liverpool before the international break. One particular moment at Anfield that might have contributed to their loss was when referee Michael Oliver failed to spot a supposedly Trent Alexander-Arnold’s handball in the area as City pressed in the first half. To compound their hard luck, Liverpool broke the next minute and Fabinho was afforded too much space to drill home the opener.
They eventually fell 3-1 to trail by nine points at this stage of the campaign, and their season could be facing up to an implosion, should they fall further behind the park. Pep Guardiola’s team lost only four times enroute to winning the title last season but the Liverpool defeat meant they have accrued three losses after just twelve rounds of games.
Chelsea have turned around their poor start to season and will travel to Manchester in buoyant mood. Since losing to Manchester United in the opening day, the Blues have lost just once (to Liverpool) and are currently on a run of six successive league wins.
On the road, they have equally been pretty impressive, having won all of their last five. With modest teams like West Ham, Newcastle and Aston Villa next on their agenda before the close out the year, Chelsea have a big chance of firmly establishing themselves a title favorites if they can pick up another victory here.
Guardiola will have to do without Bernardo who will serve a ban after he was found guilty of breaching FA rules. Fit-again David Silva is expected to come into the side in his absence.
Leroy Sané and Oleksandr Zinchenko remain long term absentees with injury problems. Aymeric Laporte joins the duo on the treatment table.
Leroy Sané and Oleksandr Zinchenko remain long term absentees with injury problems.
Christian Pulisic is a big doubt for Frank Lampard after a hip injury kept him out of the USA squad during the international break, but Jorginho can return to the starting XI.
Ross Barkley pulled out of the England squad during the break and will fail to recover in time for a full run-out here. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Antonio Rudiger are also shorn of match fitness for this one.
Head to head
These two teams have faced 161 times in all competitions previously, and it is Chelsea’s 65 wins that stands out remarkably. City have won 56 times, including four of the most recent six though. They had drawn 40 of these clashes.
Manchester City will hope to bounce back from the Liverpool defeat with a rousing performance here. Wolves remain the only team to have beaten them at the Etihad this season. And they have been victorious in 23 of their last 26 home league games.
City’s last five games in all competitions (WWWDL)
Chelsea are cruising under the guidance of Lampard, who has just about steadied the ship after a tough start. They can move into second on the league standings with their ninth victory here. Chelsea’s last five games in all competitions (WLWDW)
Chelsea look the better team to bank on for this game, if the form tables is anything to go by. At a price of 6/1, it is pretty eye-catching but then Manchester City are no pushovers, even though they might not have had the best of results in their last couple of games. They have not lost to the opposition since 2016 here and have already beaten them 6-0 this year! Such trouncing look less likely to suffice from this one. But the over 3.5 goals punt comes at 11/10, and given that goals is expected, Chelsea after all have netted the most goals away from home this season.