Manchester City can keep their very slim title hopes alive for another few days at least when they travel to face Chelsea on Thursday night.
Liverpool beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday, meaning Man City must win at Stamford Bridge or finally relinquish their crown to the Reds,who have been champions-elect for quite some time.
Realistically, though, this game is more a story of two sides fighting to confirm their place in the Premier League‘s top four. Man City look secure in second, 17 points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, but for Chelsea things are a lot tighter.
Just five points separate the Blues with Man Utd and, despite returning to action with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, Chelsea have struggled to consistently string together results. It is not really a good time for Chelsea to host a Man City side that have scored eight unanswered goals since returning to action last week.
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Chelsea vs Man City kick-off time and details
Competition Premier League
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Thursday, 25 June 2020
Kick-off: 8:15PM (UK time)
Where to watch Chelsea vs Man City on TV
UK: BT Sport 1
Chelsea & Man City’s confirmed line-ups and live stats:
Chelsea & Man City’s previous line-ups:
Chelsea (vs Aston Villa): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Willian, Giroud, Loftus-Cheek.
Man City (vs Burnley): Ederson; Cancelo, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Rodrigo, David Silva; Mahrez, Aguero*, Foden.
Chelsea are boosted by the return of Jorginho from suspension and Frank Lampard is expected to make changes from the team that beat Villa. Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero is out for the remainder of the season after picking up a knee injury against Burnley on Monday.
Players to watch:
Chelsea: Christian Pulisic: In the first half against Villa, it was more of the same for Chelsea as they struggled to break down a tough defence and even went behind. But the game changed for the Blues following the introduction of Pulisic in the 55th minute. It took the American just five minutes to get involved, scoring the equaliser at the far post following Cesar Azpilicueta’s ball across the goal, for his sixth goal of the season. Among the Blues‘ squad, only Tammy Abraham (13) has scored more goals in the Premier League during the current campaign than Pulisic while only three players have been directly involved in more goals (including assists). But what makes Pulisic’s tally of six goals and two assists even more remarkable is the fact he’s only played 1,111 minutes and is averaging a goal involvement every 139 minutes. Not bad for the 21-year-old in his first Premier League campaign. Pulisic’s season has been hampered by injury, but the American appears fully fit and could make a push for the starting lineup for the remainder of the season, although Willian and Pedro committing to the club until the end of the campaign may be a roadblock.
Man City: Gabriel Jesus: If Man City had a fully fit squad, you’d put your money on Aguero starting against Chelsea owing to his spectacular record against the Blues (12 goals in 18 appearances). But with the Argentinian out, Jesus will have to replace him both against Chelsea and for the remainder of the season.
It’s not a bad change to have to make. Only Aguero (16) and Raheem Sterling (12) have scored more Premier League goals for Man City this season than Jesus’ 10, with the Brazilian also adding five assists. But perhaps more fittingly ahead of Thursday’s game, Jesus loves playing in London and will be looking to continue his excellent record in the capital. In 16 Premier League appearances in English capital, Jesus has scored six goals and recorded four assists, averaging a goal involvement every 74 minutes. He is also prolific when starting, having scored or assisted in seven of his eight starts in the capital. Stamford Bridge may be void of fans, but as soon as Man City‘s coach gets off the M1, Jesus will be in the zone.
Scoreline prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Man City
Premier League 2019/20 recent form:
Man City: WWLWW