Man City vs Chelsea LIVE
Premier League 2018-19
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick-off: 4pm GMT, today
Manchester City face their third Premier League title test in a gruelling week as the champions host Chelsea this afternoon.
Man City leapfrogged Liverpool into first place in the table on goal difference with wins over Arsenal (3-1) on Sunday and Everton (2-0) on Wednesday, though Jurgen Klopp’s side went back on top by beating Bournemouth at Anfield.
Pep Guardiola knows that City will end the weekend above Liverpool with a win over Chelsea, but Maurizio Sarri’s Blues – who are fighting for a top-four finish – will be confident of causing problems with Gonzalo Higuain and Eden Hazard in form.
Man City vs Chelsea predicted line-ups and team news
Man City (4-1-2-3): Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Laporte, Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Hazard, Willian, Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain will be looking to build on his goalscoring start to life at Chelsea when he leads the line today.
The Argentine scored twice in the win over Huddersfield last weekend, and his arrival at Stamford Bridge has unsurprisingly seen Maurizio Sarri ditch his false nine system, with Eden Hazard reverting to his favoured wing position.
Antonio Rudiger sat out the Huddersfield win but is expected to return alongside David Luiz, who scored in the reverse fixture, a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
The clash is a dress rehearsal for the EFL Cup final, which takes place in two weeks’ time, and Chelsea will be wary of avoiding the same fate suffered by fellow top four rivals Arsenal last weekend.
Sergio Aguero struck a hat-trick in a 3-1 win, and will likely start again here, despite Gabriel Jesus’ goalscoring cameo at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
Aymeric Laporte also scored in that game, and could deputise at left back again as Benjamin Mendy continues his prolonged return from injury, while Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne should return after starting from the bench against Everton.
Score prediction: Man City 2-1 Chelsea
Man City will feel the weight of expectation to get another big result in a tough week, but Guardiola can rotate his attack this weekend.
City are formidable at home and will set a Premier League record if they score twice – the 15th time in a row they would have done so.
Chelsea took Huddersfield apart 5-0 last weekend with Higuain and Hazard starring, but their previous result – a 4-0 loss at Bournemouth – means there is no telling what sort of performance the Blues will turn in at the Etihad.
Sarri has had more time to prepare than Guardiola, so Chelsea should at the very least be tighter in defence on the road this time around – but City will likely edge this game.
TV channel and live stream, and online coverage
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports’ Premier League and Main Event channels, and is available via Now TV with a day pass on offer for £7.99. Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via SkyGo and the SkyGo app.
You can follow all the action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.
Head to Head history (h2h) and results
The two sides have faced each other 43 times in the Premier League: Chelsea dominate with 25 wins to City’s 11, with seven draws.
Guardiola has lost three League games against Chelsea – more than any other in his managerial career – making the Blues his bogey team, with a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in December hitting his side’s title hopes.