Chelsea host Man City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday – assuming it goes ahead after City’s COVID-19 outbreak – needing a win to end a very poor run of form that has seen pressure mount on Frank Lampard.
Lampard’s team are on a very tough run of results and performances. Having won eight of ten matches in all competitions and sorting out the backline with eight clean sheets in 12, things have fallen apart somewhat.
Chelsea were very poor in losing 1-0 at Everton before throwing away a lead to lose 2-1 at Wolves.
A 3-0 home win against West Ham followed in an average display. Lampard side’s then found themselves 3-0 down away at struggling Arsenal, eventually losing 3-1 before a 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in that match before a poor equaliser was conceded.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea rotated heavily against Aston Villa and should welcome back Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva at the back for this match. Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are both struggling after big-money moves and both could be left on the bench once again.
Reece James is a doubt at right-back with hamstring and knee problems but should be fit, whilst Hakim Ziyech should be back amongst the substitutes in a welcome boost. Giroud and Tammy Abraham are both in great scoring form and will compete to lead the line.
Motivation for this game should be very high, but confidence is low. A relatively defensive performance is expected in terms of sitting off Man City and looking to play on the counter-attack. A win would change the whole mood of the club but a loss could see some of the reactionary supporter base increase pressure on Lampard. It is therefore a game he can not lose. If offered a draw right now, he would very likely take it.
Man City Form
After City’s game against Everton on Monday was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the side are two matches behind. They are in very good form and are lurking in the shadows. Man City are 10 matches unbeaten in all competitions and have lost only two of their 23 matches this season.
In the Premier League, drawing too many matches has been a problem with five draws in their last 13 played. The side has found some strong form in recent weeks and have won four of their last six matches. That turnaround has come on the back of a very solid defence. City’s most recent results were a 1-0 win at Southampton and a 2-0 win at home against Newcastle.
Man City Team News
City’s side is impossible to predict without knowing which players tested positive for COVID-19. Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus are the two confirmed cases with Joao Cancelo and Ferran Torres expected to play in their positions.
City have a big squad and top players like Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte were all on the bench for the last match and could come in. Sergio Aguero is getting fitter and isn’t far off starting a match.
Man City Motivation
City will play to win. However, should they be missing several first-team players for this match then they may be satisfied to set up defensively and take a draw. They tried to win at Old Trafford against Man Utd but never opened themselves up to counterattacks to do so and eventually both sides shook hands on a point. Expect the same approach here.
Chelsea have won 1 of their last 6 matches
Chelsea are 5 matches without a clean sheet
City have kept 8 clean sheets in their last 10 matches in all competitions
Man City are unbeaten in 10 matches (W7, D3)
City have won lost 2 and drawn 5 of their last 13 PL matches (6W)
Man City are favourites for this game due to Chelsea’s very poor form. However, a draw probably suits both sides in their current situation, form, and health-wise, so that looks the best bet. Otherwise, City to win a very tight match could be an alternative.