On the day of Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk, it’s apt that two more European heavyweights go toe to toe in the capital.
Chelsea v Manchester City is a fixture that has always caught the eye, however over the past 6 months or so, it’s been more than just Premier League rivalry.
Since Thomas Tuchel has taken over at Stamford Bridge, the German has defeated Pep Guardiola in all 3 matches played, including an FA Cup Semi Final and of course, the Champions League Final.
Will the Chelsea steamroller continue?
Chelsea look indestructible this season, having thrashed Tottenham 3-0, and found a way to beat Aston Villa midweek despite being taken to penalties. The signing of Romelu Lukaku has clearly had a major impact, with the Belgian starting the season as strongly as he finished his previous in Italy. Scoring goals.
The 3-4-3 Tuchel formation is working a treat, and the amount of clean sheets that have been churned out in 2021 speaks volumes. This Chelsea defence is solid. Very solid.
With Mason Mount and Kai Havertz returning from their Euro 2020 adventures with crucial experience, they’ve come back to London refreshed and much improved players. Alongside Lukaku, this could be a strike trio to be feared.
N’golo Kante is back to full fitness, and expected to start alongside UEFA Player Of The Year, Jorginho.
The only two doubts for the hosts, are goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who suffered a hip injury during the Champions League match against Zenit, and Christian Pulisic, who is still receiving from the aftermath of COVID.
City are still champions, and champions for a reason…
Now, onto the visitors. With the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku, most of the Manchester City attention turned to them not having a striker. Failure to secure Harry Kane was probably the biggest talking point of the transfer window for the Citizens.
However.. and a big however, Manchester City are Champions of England. You don’t become Champions after 38 games by fluke.
In fact, I think Manchester City have been unfairly overlooked this season. All talk has been about United, and the only real press that the champions got all summer, was the fact they spent £100m on Jack Grealish. Incase you didn’t know, Manchester City spent £100m on Grealish. £100m. I don’t think Sky Sports ever mentioned the price tag?
So let me be honest, Manchester City are title favourites. Striker or not, the team is full of talent and on their day, capable of putting a number of goals past any side.
The only real issue, is consistency. We’ve seen this in the past week or two, smashing Wycombe 6-1, Leipzig 6-3, but yet struggling to break down an average Southampton side at home. Once everything clicks and the team performs at the high standard we all know, I think City will be back to winning 95% of games.
Chelsea 1-1 Manchester City
I think it’s clear this game will be a tactical affair, with two of the best managers in the world going head to head.
I can see Romelu Lukaku putting Chelsea ahead, possibly even through a penalty.
However, Kevin De Bruyne normally turns up at Stamford Bridge, and I can see him either scoring himself, or producing a bit of magic to put City level.
Dare I say, I think both teams would take a point before the game. I think it’s a match that both teams don’t want to lose, more than risking too much to win.
Let’s hope for a cracking game!