How Manchester City and Chelsea could line up in the Premier League

The Premier League title race could be as good as over this weekend as Manchester City have the opportunity to go 13 points clear of their nearest rivals Chelsea, should they defeat the Blues at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been in sparkling form in 2021/22 and currently lead at the top of the table by 10 points ahead of Chelsea in second and 11 points ahead of Liverpool in third.

Any victory gained on Saturday afternoon will represent an enormous leap towards the defence of their title.

In the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign, City won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.


Man City suffered a Covid outbreak in their training camp ahead of the FA Cup match against Swindon, and although no confirmation was given as to the players impacted, Ederson, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were among the contingent to sit out the cup.

If all of them return a negative test before Saturday, they will be free to play.

John Stones has been missing with a niggling injury, but could return if fit.

Ederson will start in goal behind a likely back four of Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo.

Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri should make up the midfield three.

Guardiola’s options in the final third are slightly more limited than usual, as Riyad Mahrez is at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Ferran Torres has joined Barcelona.

Guardiola could go with a front three of Gabriel Jesus, Foden and Sterling.

For Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel will be without Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Edouard Mendy. The first three are injured, while Mendy is at AFCON.

Kepa Arrizabalaga will deputside for Mendy in goal, with Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger making up an experienced back three.

With James still out, Cesar Azpilicueta will likely feature at right wing-back, with Marcos Alonso on the other side.

N’Golo Kante returned from isolation against Spurs midweek and could come into the line-up, with perhaps Mateo Kovacic dropping out.

Timo Werner will probably drop out of the starting XI, with Kai Havertz joining Romelu Lukaku and Mason Mount in the front three.

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