Hello Chelsea fans and readers across the world.
Welcome to today’s match preview as the Blues return to Stamford Bridge after three months to face a very formidable Manchester City side in the race for European spots. Chelsea returned to action against Aston Villa securing all 3 points after coming behind in a 2-1 victory with goals from Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud. Manchester City, however, have looked indomitable in their defeat of Arsenal and Burnley scoring 8 goals in their last two fixtures and conceding none in the process.
Chelsea did put up a formidable fight against Pep Guardiola’s team at the Etihad earlier this season in a narrow loss and Manchester City will not underestimate the threats this Chelsea team pose unlike their earlier games. Chelsea will have to deal with City’s threats in the wide areas while trying to keep Kevin De Bruyne at bay. A great game is in store this Thursday as Chelsea try to keep their European hopes intact with 8 games left to play for the season.
Manchester City – Ones to Watch Out
Kevin De Bruyne
The midfielder has been phenomenal for City this campaign and had a good game against Arsenal scoring from the spot and also assisting Raheem Sterling for the opening goal. He recorded 6 touches inside the box, 3 shots on target and created 2 big chances in the final third. Chelsea will have to shut down Kevin De Bruyne to stand any chance of securing a result. Kevin De Bruyne’s ability to capitalise on the defensive mistakes also makes him the biggest threat to Chelsea’s defence. City will rely on his set piece delivery to out do Chelsea and this makes De Bruyne the one player Chelsea will have to absolutely shut down to have any chance of securing the result.
Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva – A Formidable Flank
The Algerian winger scored a brace against Burnley in the midweek fixture and single handedly dismatled their left hand side, which is also Chelsea’s weakest side on the pitch. Bernardo Silva’s subline link up with Mahrez proved too much for Burnley midweek as the midfielder racked up 2 assists in the game with an astounding 97% pass completion rate and creating also 2 big chances. Chelsea’s left flank needs to keep an eye out for Mahrez and Silva on Thursday.
The young attacking midfielder was impressive in both of city’s games racking up 3 goals in two games for city. Foden’s versatilty gives Pep Guardiola options to start him on the wing like he did against Burnley in midweek or bring him on as an impact sub. Regardless, Chelsea will need to keep an eye on the young midfielder who has been nothing short of impressive post the return of the Premier league.
Chelsea – Can we upset Manchester City?
There were lots of positives to take from the game which Chelsea played in the away fixture. Chelsea were swift on the break and created a lot of chances off a brilliant individual performance from Mateo Kovacic. However, Chelsea’s inability to nullify City’s threats and capitalise on the early lead led to their downfall that day. On the return leg, City will also have to keep an eye out for Chelsea threats in attack as Frank Lampard will have a lot of options available to both start and also to have an impact off the bench compared to the side which faced City at the Etihad.
Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount were impressive against Aston Villa putting up good individual performances while we saw a fit N’Golo Kante back to his usual best. To beat Manchester City however, Chelsea will have to be a lot more clinical in taking their chances and ensuring that our defence is much more organised against a quality attack. Chelsea will have to press City as a team with a lot more purpose and directness trying to win balls in the middle of the pitch. Avoiding errors in the defensive half of the pitch, which has been Chelsea’s undoing in most games this season will need to be the standard against City if the team aspires to get a result against Pep Guardiola.
Sergio Aguero has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury he suffered against Burnley. Eric Garcia suffered a concussion against Arsenal and will not be available for selection for a week. John Stones might be fit to face Chelsea; the defender suffered an ankle injury during training in the lead up to the restart. and he might be available for selection on Thursday. Phil Foden picked up a knock in the game against Burnley. Pep Guardiola is yet to confirm on the availability of John Stones and Phil Foden for the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Fikyo Tomori will not be available for selection after he picked up a muscle injury in training. Callum Hudson Odoi has returned to first team training, but is not match fit. Marco Van Ginkel will not be available for selection with the midfielder nursing a knee injury. There are no fresh injuries reported for Chelsea.
City have been in dominant form which makes them the favourites for the fixture. Chelsea’s comeback win over Aston Villa is definitely a positive coming into this game and i predict a hard fought 3-2 Victory for Chelsea. Will Frank Lampard get one over Pep Guardiola? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
CHELSEA VS MANCHESTER CITY
25TH JUNE 2020
KICK OFF – 8:15 PM BST