Chelsea vs Manchester City
TV: BT Sport
6 games into the season and pundits are already calling it a three horse race for the title between Chelsea, City and United. Obviously it is still too soon to tell, but the excitement to see these two giants clash is for all to see.
Strong squads, impressive domestic form, and eye-catching European displays – it will be an intriguing battle between the big spending heavyweights.
Atletico Madrid were a team who rarely ever conceded a goal on home turf, let alone lost points, but Chelsea defied the odds to condemn the Spanish team to their first loss in the Estadio Metropolitano. The commanding display is all the more impressive considering that Atletico have reached 2 of the last 4 Champions League finals. Hazard looked enthused throughout, threatening with every touch of the ball, and so Conte will be delighted to welcome him back into the Premier League starting line up.
In order to restrict Manchester City’s midfield talents, it would not be surprising to see Conte field the same side and formation as against Atletico. Although David Luiz will have to make way due to suspension, leaving a space for Andreas Christensen to fill and continue his promising early Chelsea career.
Will Chelsea be fired up from their Atletico win, or will the game have drained the players emotionally and physically? Being early on in the season you would assume not the latter, however only time will tell.
Manchester City have in recent weeks been performing demolition jobs – sweeping the likes of Liverpool and Watford aside with 5-0 and 6-0 score lines respectively. To say these are easy teams to dominate would be a lie. The confidence instilled from these results alongside the attacking prowess will give the Citizens hope of a positive away result at Stamford Bridge.
One major knock however is the loss of Aguero. Following Aguero’s car crash on Thursday night it remains to be seen how long he will be out for, although this weekend will certainly be a write-off. This will force Guardiola into a change of formation, away from his recently favoured two up top, to a lone striker formation led by Gabriel Jesus. City are certainly a weaker side without Aguero, nevertheless Jesus has stated his case to lead the line with 4 Premier League goals in his past three appearances. Meanwhile Silva replicates that statistic with assists rather than goals, proving that one of their leading creative talents is in fine form.
Prediction: Chelsea 1 Manchester City 1
Written by Theo Atherton-Green.