Chelsea vs Manchester City: Pep Guardiola's side best team in Europe, says Maurizio Sarri
Unbeaten Manchester City go to Stamford Bridge for Saturday tea time kick off
Last Updated: 08/12/18 4:32pm
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has labelled Manchester City as the best team in Europe, but Pep Guardiola simply replied: "We are not."
Guardiola said: "Thanks, but we are not the best. To be the best, you have to win the titles."
Chelsea host City in the Premier League on Saturday evening (kick-off 5.30pm).
On the trip to west London, Guardiola added: "Always, Stamford Bridge is difficult. I have travelled there many times as a manager and won once - last season. Most times I lose there."
Guardiola's City have won 13 of their Premier League games and are unbeaten in the league since April.
Chelsea were unbeaten in their first 12 Premier League games but lost 2-1 at Wolves on Wednesday -- their second defeat in their past three league games.
Those dropped points have left them in fourth place, 10 points adrift of leaders City after 15 games.
City, who finished 30 points better off than Chelsea last season, and after insisting they are the best team in Europe, Sarri said that is his target for his own side.
"At the moment they are stronger than us but our final target is to be the best team in Europe," he said. "We need to work, we need to improve. In 90 minutes anything can happen. We know it's very difficult but we have to believe in it."
Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero are still not available for City.
Midfielder De Bruyne has a knee problem while striker Aguero is struggling with a muscle issue, and City boss Pep Guardiola said: "Both cannot play. Both will be back soon."
Jorginho and David Luiz are expected to return to Chelsea's starting line-up for Saturday's visit City.
Blues boss Maurizio Sarri reported no serious injuries ahead of the clash and is expected to restore his first-choice line-up after Wednesday's loss at Wolves, a second defeat in three league games.
Mateo Kovacic could start in midfield and Olivier Giroud could come in up front.
- Chelsea have lost two of their last three home Premier League games against Man City (W1), having lost just two of their first 18 against them in the competition (W11 D5 L2).
- Manchester City haven't won consecutive top-flight visits against Chelsea since January 1955.
- Manchester City have never won four consecutive matches against Chelsea in all competitions - this is the 161st meeting between the teams.
- Chelsea had just seven shots against Man City across their two Premier League meetings last season - only Leicester vs Man City (4) and Huddersfield vs Liverpool (6) had fewer against an opponent last season.
- The reigning top-flight champions haven't won at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in the Premier League since April 2002, when Man Utd won 3-0; the Blues have won five and drawn six of 11 matches since then.
- This will be the fifth time Chelsea have faced Man City in the Premier League with the Citizens top of the table - Chelsea won the first two (December 2011 and December 2016), while Man City won both last season.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 14 away Premier League games (W11 D3) - they've never gone 15 without defeat on the road in the top-flight before.
- Maurizio Sarri hasn't lost two successive league games as a manager since October 2016, when Napoli lost in Italy's Serie A against Atalanta & Roma.
Paul Merson's prediction
Liverpool will be hoping Chelsea do them a favour against Manchester City but in truth, Maurizio Sarri's side must do themselves a favour in regard to getting into the top four. They are 10 points behind Man City now so even if Chelsea win, seven points is a big gap at this stage of the season. When are City going to lose another three football matches? And that's without Chelsea losing another game.
If you are going on form, you can't see anything but a Man City win. If City get this game out of the way and don't lose, I don't see how they don't go through the whole league season without losing. There's this game and then Manchester United away but they play Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal at home so if they come through this game unscathed I really don't see where they lose.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (15/2 with Sky Bet)