Manchester City will host Chelsea in a Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. This Manchester City vs Chelsea bout may as well be a dress rehearsal for the forthcoming all-English Champions League final.
Pep Guardiola’s side defeated last year’s runners-up Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 on aggregate in the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Chelsea defeated Real Madrid 3-1 over two legs to become finalists in a European showdown with their English counterparts.
City’s domestic tomorrow victory will also cement their title as Premier League champions. And because they’ve already won the EFL Cup, they’ll only need to beat Chelsea again to win the Champions League title.
On the other hand, Chelsea are fighting for a top-four spot in the Premier League, for next season’s UCL qualification. They currently have a three-point lead over fifth place.
Manchester City vs Chelsea Team news
Pep Guardiola may rotate his team significantly on Saturday, despite the fact that Manchester City has had an additional 24 hours to rest and train for this game than Chelsea.
With John Stones suspended for EPL champions-elect City, Aymeric Laporte will likely take his place in the starting lineup.
Rodri he could reclaim his place from Fernandinho after being unexpectedly dropped against PSG in midweek.
Joao Cancelo could also make his way back into the starting lineup.
Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden have been in superb shape recently. However, Pep may use Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, and Gabriel Jesus as backup choices to give the two some rest.
Manchester City possible starting lineup: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Mendy; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling
Thomas Tuchel will also have to rotate his squad a little on Saturday, after Wednesday’s UCL semi-final against Real Madrid.
Cesar Azpilicueta was struggling at the end of that semi-final, and he may be given the weekend off.
Away at the Etihad, Christian Pulisic, Kurt Zouma, Hakim Ziyech, Marcos Alonso, and Reece James will most likely start.
Tuchel wants Mateo Kovacic to return to rest Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, but he’s unavailable till the next midweek.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; Zouma, Rudiger, Christensen; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz
- City have conceded only one of their last five Premier League home matches. But they have also drawn two of their last three maatch.
- So, we wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea came away with a point on Saturday.
Both teams will be wary of putting in too much effort before the European prize is decided.
Moreover, both teams are coming off of grueling midweek matches, and so, a low-scoring affair could be in the cards.
City haven’t had a flawless run at an empty Etihad this season.
So, we expect Tuchel’s undefeated away record to begin with a score tie against City’s Champions League final opponents.
To the contrary, Chelsea have benefited greatly from the home advantage phenomenon being washed out in the absence of spectators.
So, we expect Tuchel’s unbeaten away record to continue with a score draw against their Champions League final opponents.