Chelsea v Manchester City – BBC Sport

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Goodison Park
City’s game at Goodison Park was called off four hours before kick-off

TEAM NEWS

Five Manchester City players are unavailable for their Premier League match at Chelsea on Sunday following positive coronavirus tests.

Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and three unnamed players are in isolation.

“I don’t think the Premier League allow us to name the players but you will know [on Sunday],” Guardiola said.

City’s game at Everton on 28 December was called off following the positive tests but the rest of the first-team bubble has since tested negative.

Guardiola said City had enough players to play at Goodison Park but the match was postponed because the tests results were returned earlier the same day.

“We wanted to play but on the day of the game, with more cases, we informed the Premier League,” Guardiola said.

“I personally called (Everton manager) Carlo Ancelotti to explain the situation because the day before we were in touch about what would happen and the huge risk.”

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech could make his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in early December against Leeds at Stamford Bridge.

Defender Reece James will definitely miss the game because of a similar problem.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Wilsonfooty:external-link Chelsea and Manchester City have had their bad days but so has everybody else – and City’s league position is artificially low because of their games in hand.

Heading into 2021, only seven points separated the top nine teams – and judging by the current rate of points won per game, the title could be sealed with just 79 points. That would be the lowest title-winning tally since 1999.

Could Chelsea or Manchester City get to 79 points or more? Absolutely. Seldom, approaching the halfway point of a Premier League season, can a game between sides who started the weekend sixth and eighth in the table look so important to the title race – but this is obviously no ordinary season.

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Chelsea have lost their last three away league games but their form at Stamford Bridge has been a lot more solid.

I am still going with a Manchester City win, though. Pep Guardiola’s side are not quite at it, in terms of going forward and opening up teams, but the trade-off for that has been their improvement defensively.

Prediction: 0-2

Lawro’s full predictions v The Farm singer Peter Hooton

Manchester City have a 100% winning record in all seven games in all competitions in which Ferran Torres has scored

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester City have lost 26 Premier League games versus Chelsea, more than against any other side.
  • City can lose three consecutive Premier League away matches against Chelsea for the first time since a run of four from 2006 to 2009.
  • None of the past 10 league meetings have been drawn.

Chelsea

  • Chelsea have only won one of their past five Premier League matches, taking four points from a possible 15.
  • However, their only defeat in 14 home league games came against Liverpool in September (W10, D3).
  • The Blues have failed to win their opening Premier League fixture in each of the past four calendar years.
  • Their only goal in four league matches against established top-six opposition this season was scored by Tammy Abraham in the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Boxing Day.
  • Olivier Giroud scored in 11 of his 14 Premier League starts in 2020.
  • Timo Werner has gone 11 matches without a goal for Chelsea.

Manchester City

  • Manchester City are unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions, winning seven and drawing three.
  • Nonetheless, 26 points is still their lowest tally after 14 matches for 10 years.
  • City could win three consecutive league fixtures for the first time this season.
  • They have lost three of their past four Premier League games in London, drawing the other.
  • City have kept 13 clean sheets in all competitions this season, more than any other team in the top five European leagues.
  • Sergio Aguero has scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances against Chelsea. However, he is currently on a 10-game goalless Premier League run.
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