Chelsea v Man City preview: Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy miss out
Last Updated: 30/09/17 5:51pm
Chelsea or Manchester City could land the first big blow of the Premier League title race on Saturday when they meet at Stamford Bridge.
The current Premier League champions did the double over City last season, winning 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium before an Eden Hazard double was enough for a 2-1 victory in west London.
In fact, Chelsea have the overall edge in the recent head-to-heads having lost only one of their last seven Premier League games against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge (W4 D2).
Furthermore, Pep Guardiola has faced Chelsea seven times as a manager and failed to win any (D4 L3), although City travel to London in red-hot form.
City have scored a remarkable 16 goals in their last three Premier League games and are unbeaten in their last 14 league matches.
Eden Hazard is expected to start in the Premier League for the first time this season.
Defender David Luiz completes his three-match domestic suspension for his dismissal against Arsenal, with Andreas Christensen poised to deputise. Midfielder Danny Drinkwater (calf) is the only definite injury absentee.
Sergio Aguero misses out for Manchester City, having suffered a broken rib after being involved in a car crash in Amsterdam.
Full-back Benjamin Mendy is also unavailable due to a knee injury while Vincent Kompany is not fit, even though he has been called up by Belgium for their upcoming matches with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus.
- Manchester City lost both Premier League matches against Chelsea last season. Pep Guardiola has only ever lost three consecutive matches against an opponent once before in his managerial career - he lost three in a row against Real Madrid between April 2012 and April 2014 (one in La Liga, two in the Champions League).
- Manchester City have scored 21 goals in their six Premier League matches so far this season. Only Newcastle United (22 goals in 1994-95) & Manchester United (22 goals in 2011-12) have scored more at this stage of a Premier League season, but neither went on to win the title.
- Manchester City have the highest xG (Expected Goals) total in the Premier League this season; 15.1 - suggesting that the quality of chances they've been presented would see the average side score 15 goals in these matches. Chelsea, on the other hand, have an xG total of just 6.3; the 11th best tally.
- Hazard has had a hand in five goals in his last five Premier League apps against the Citizens (three goals, two assists).
- Alvaro Morata has scored six goals in his first six Premier League appearances; three with his head and three with his right foot. The top goalscoring player in their first seven appearances as a Premier League player is Mick Quinn (10 goals) followed by Diego Costa (nine goals).
This is a massive, massive football match. I cannot spate these two sides so I'm going for a 1-1 draw. It should be a great game. I watched Chelsea at Atletico and they were outstanding. It was one of the best performances I've seen away from home in Europe for a long time against a proper team in Champions League terms.
This is another big game for Chelsea though. We expect United to win at home to Palace at 3pm and that would mean Chelsea would be six points behind them ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge. I know it's still early in the season but that's still a lot of points already. Because of that I can see both sides being happy with a point.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (11/2 with Sky Bet)
Manchester City are Sky Bet's 7/5 favourites with Chelsea marginally longer odds at 7/4, while the draw is a 13/5 chance. Pep Guardiola's men are also favourites in the Premier League outright at 10/11 as the champions are given an 11/2 chance of defending their title.