Manchester City will be looking to move to the top of the Premier League standings when they face first placed Chelsea on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
3 December 2016
Kick-off: 20:30 (HKT)
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: S Burt, A Nunn
Fourth official: M. Dean
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
City 140 47 38 55
Chelsea 140 55 38 47
Chelsea 0-3 Manchester City 16/04/16 (Premier League)
City goalscorers: S. Aguero (33′, 54′, 80′)
Players to watch:
It will be a battle of the top two English Premier League marksmen in the blockbuster clash of the weekend and City’s Sergio Aguero and the Blues Diego Costa will be key players for their sides.
In a game that is expected to be a tight affair with Chelsea’s recent defensive solidity against Pep Guardiola’s possession based approach.
However, much will be expected from their strikers as one clear cut opportunity are all these two world class forward’s need on their day.
Both currently sit on 10 goals a-piece and with Antonio Conte’s side leading City by a single point and two goals – Aguero and Costa could be the difference in the entire outcome of the title race.
Team form and manager quotes:
Chelsea come into the fixture with a run of seven consecutive wins, while conceding only one goal during the impressive run to the top of the Premier League standings.
Manager Antonio Conte admits the fixture against the Citizens will be one their biggest tests and a good point of reference of their recent growth.
“I’m pleased with the attitude of all the players, those who are playing and those who have been on the bench or in the stands, there is a good atmosphere,” he told reporters.
“Tomorrow it’s a really tough game, a great test for us and our formation. We know it won’t be easy, we face a really great team with great players and a good idea of football.
“We want to show we are working well and that we are growing. It’s another step for us to show what has changed since the start of the season.”
Meanwhile, the home side are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, but have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five games.
Pep Guardiola is also keen to test himself against Chelsea’s new manager while highlighting their distinguished formation as a decisive factor in their preparation to the top of the table clash.
“Conte is without doubt one of the best coaches in the world right now. It’s the first time we are going to face each other. It’s good to play against him.
“He made exceptional job in Turin. He is a contender to win the Premier League from the beginning and now maybe more than before.
“When they have the ball they play a 3-4-3. It’s always complicated, they do it really well. They conceded just one goal. It’s not easy but, okay, it’s a challenge.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is major doubt after he was forced off in the win against Burnley last Saturday, while Kevin de Bruyne, John Stones, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan could earn recalls to the starting line-up.
Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph are the only certainties to remain on the sidelines.
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte may name an unchanged side for a seventh consecutive league game.
However John Terry, Marco van Ginkel and Kurt Zouma remains sidelined, while Mikel John Obi’s muscular problem will be assessed.