It does not slow down for Manchester City in terms of fixtures; even if an international break gives them a chance to catch breath for a brief moment. They face Chelsea at the Etihad on 23rd November with both sides looking to make up ground on the top place. Both sides have had excellent starts to the season and they know that if they want to make a genuine title charge then they have to win this fixture.
Manchester City are currently left reeling from a frantic game at Anfield on Sunday where they were left bemoaning VAR decisions that did not go their way. Amid the VAR decisions, it was clear to see how much the defensive injury crisis hit them with midfield anchor-man Fernandinho playing in the heart of the defence as opposed to his more natural position in midfield. With manager Pep Guardiola clearly showing a preference for the Brazilian and not pairing John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi together, a combined transfer value of over £75 million, it looks more than likely he will plug the gap again.
With City looking to pick their form back up, Chelsea on the other hand are enjoying life under Frank Lampard. With his emphasises on quick football they find themselves in a title race, football betting tips about winning the league, with Liverpool, Leicester and City. Many thought Lampard would struggle given the transfer embargo that was put on them and his hand being forced to play younger players. But this has played into the hands of the former Derby manager as the youthful players have bought into his philosophy and they have reaped the rewards as they sit in 3rd place.
With Chelsea currently unbeaten in the last six games they must fancy their chances of making life difficult for City. Their last loss came against, just like City, Liverpool in September and they will be hoping they can continue their fine form into the Christmas period.
However, City will be hoping to take a leaf out of Chelsea’s book and use the Liverpool loss as a catalyst. It is clear they have the footballing quality but do they have the resilience and bouncebackability to recover from a setback that they are not always used to?
With confidence high in the Chelsea camp and the fine form of Tammy Abraham, who has ten goals already in the league this season, you have to think they have the edge for this game surprisingly. The defensive frailties of City were all but evident against Liverpool and without Aymeric Laporte they lack real cohesion, unity and leadership in defence, however, with goalkeeper Ederson reportedly available for the visit of Chelsea that is a huge boost for the Citizens.
One thing for sure is this could be a real cracker of a game with both sides going all out for a win. Let’s just hope VAR does not ruin the occasion.