Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Chelsea vs Manchester City in the Premier League on Thursday (kick-off 8.15pm).
Chelsea will welcome back Jorginho from suspension for their Premier League clash with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge – a game that could seal the title for Liverpool.
Manager Frank Lampard is likely to rotate his starting line-up from Sunday’s 2-1 win at Aston Villa to cope with fixture congestion.
Defender Fikayo Tomori is still sidelined with a muscle complaint and could be a week away from being ready to feature. Forward Callum Hudson-Odoi is back in training but not match fit so will miss out.
Man City are without record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who has undergone knee surgery after suffering an injury in Monday’s victory over Burnley.
Defender John Stones (ankle) could soon be back in contention and No 2 goalkeeper Claudio Bravo (thigh) has also been training.
Forwards Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, who were on the bench as manager Pep Guardiola made eight changes on Monday, could return to the starting line-up.
Liverpool, who thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday night, will be crowned champions if City fail to win.
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- Chelsea have alternated between defeat and victory in their last four Premier League home games against Man City, winning this exact fixture 2-0 last season.
- Man City have won six of their last nine Premier League meetings with Chelsea (L3), as many as they had in their previous 34 against them (W6 D7 L21).
- Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League meetings with Man City, though it was in this exact fixture last season (2-0).
- Man City lost their last Premier League game in London (0-2 vs Tottenham). They’ve not lost consecutive games in the capital since December 2015, the first defeat of which also came against Spurs.
- Manchester City have won 18 of their last 20 midweek Premier League matches (Tuesday-Thursday), losing the other two against Leicester and Newcastle in 2018-19.
- Chelsea had 74% possession in their 2-1 win away at Aston Villa, the 29th time this season they have had the majority of possession in a Premier League game, more than any other side.
- Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has won 15 of his first 30 Premier League matches and is only the fifth Englishman of the 69 to have managed at least 30 games to have won at least half of his first 30 games, and first since Tim Sherwood in April 2015.
- Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances against Chelsea in all competitions, including netting two hat-tricks in that run. In six Premier League games at Stamford Bridge, Aguero has been involved in seven goals (5 goals, 2 assists).
- Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is looking to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances for the first time since January 2017, when he played for Arsenal. Giroud has scored in his last three Premier League starts against Man City, although they came between January 2015 and May 2016.
- Man City forward Gabriel Jesus has scored six goals and assisted four more in 16 Premier League appearances in London, averaging a goal or assist every 74 minutes in the capital. He has either scored or assisted in seven of his eight starts in London.
We always knew Phil Foden was the real deal in terms of talent. People kept suggesting he should go to Germany or elsewhere, but why? He is, in time, going to be David Silva’s replacement, and a good one at that. He must learn the other side of the game though.
He does remind me of Jack Wilshere. A sweet left foot, superb in tight situations and hard to knock off the ball, while being precise with his passing. It was the injuries that finished Wilshere at the top level, but what Jack was not able to do that Foden was able to do is being able to work under a coach that is requiring you to learn differing positions. Foden is being taught the Andres Iniesta role, yet he scores two against Burnley playing in a wide-left role.
You have to make runs in behind, creating space down the left for Silva or Oleksandr Zinchenko, and he did just that. He is creating space without the ball and then you will gradually get the ball. Pep’s ways of working are brilliant, and Foden is learning all the time. You saw the delight on his face after the game – he knows he has it and City know they have the right guy and he is the one who can be trusted.
This may start the Manchester City rebuild for back-to-back titles again. They do have a replacement and he is one of their own. He is playing in and around Kevin De Bruyne, who is one of the best in the world, and all of these cup competitions they are building for will help his progression. I see a big improvement here and City will reap the rewards.
Chelsea came back well with energy and enthusiasm against Aston Villa, especially with the youngsters, but you can still see that they have problems defensively. You can get at them. Billy Gilmour was left out, as we know what N’Golo Kante can do. Chelsea will be a handful going forward, and if City don’t win, Liverpool will win the league as a result, but I think it is looking like Liverpool having to go to City to win it. I will go for a narrow City win here.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
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