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The Big Match: Man City v Chelsea stats, team news, prediction & TV channel

Chelsea desperate to narrow ten-point gap on leaders Manchester City

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel
1 of 1

Premier League: Manchester City v Chelsea

Where to watch

BT Sport 1, 12.30pm Saturday

Match odds

7-10 Manchester City, 21-5 Chelsea, 3-1 Draw

Form

Realistically, a win at the Etihad will be crucial for Chelsea if they have any hope of closing the ten-point gap Manchester City enjoy at the top of the Premier League.

Thomas Tuchel will be cursing four draws in the Blues' last five games that have allowed the champions to disappear into the distance.

They have lost just once in the league since Gabriel Jesus gave City a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on September 25 and spirits should be high after they battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn a draw against Liverpool.

City, meanwhile, have been relentless. Pep Guardiola's team have won 11 straight Premier League games since a 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace on October and have scored 19 goals in five Etihad league outings since that defeat.

Team news

Manchester City
Defender John Stones is expected to recover from a knock, but Oleksandr Zinchenko is ruled out through illness. Riyad Mahrez is at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Chelsea
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is playing for Senegal. Reece James continues to struggle with a thigh problem while Ben Chilwell is out long-term with a knee injury.

The tactical battle

Stopping City from getting behind their defence will be key for Chelsea and as Tuchel's side did that well in three victories over the Citizens last season. Putting up a strong wall is likely to be their tactic again.

The problem is that will enable City to have plenty of the ball and the London side need to be proactive to win.

Guardiola's side were unable to carve out many chances despite winning at Stamford Bridge in September and space may again be at a premium in the attacking third.

A lot will probably rest on Romelu Lukaku, who should have plenty of work to do up front. 

Verdict

Chelsea know how to beat City, but it will not be enough for them just to try to grind it out this time, because defeat would cut them even further adrift in the title race.

City have enough class to break through Tuchel's rearguard and they could score again if Chelsea are forced to chase the game late on.

Manchester City 2 Chelsea 0

Key stats

  • Both teams have scored in just four of the last 13 meetings
  • Manchester City have kept seven clean sheets in their ten Premier League home games
  • Chelsea have won four of their last 11 Premier League matches

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Guardiola's side were unable to carve out many chances despite winning at Stamford Bridge in September and space may again be at a premium
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