Premier League leaders Chelsea travel to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on Saturday in what promises to be a very interesting and tightly contested game. Antonio Conte’s men will be looking to secure their eight Premier League win in a row, whereas the hosts will know they could finish the weekend in first place if they win at the Etihad Stadium and the other results go their way.
Chelsea are showing title-winning form right now, but the game in Manchester will be a hugetest for their ambitions this season. Even though the Blues will surely be going for the win on Saturday, Conte would also be content with a draw.
Chelsea are expected to sit deep into their own half and wait for opportunities to hit the hosts on the break, but Conte is experienced enough to know that the best strategy against a Pep Guardiola side is to press the opposition’s midfield with strength, aggressiveness and smart off-the-ball movement.
This will not be an ordinary game for Chelsea, but Conte is unlikely to make any changes to his starting eleven.
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
The Belgian will need to be on the top of his game against City’s quality attackers.
Central defenders: Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta
Chelsea conceded their first goal in six league games against Tottenham last weekend, but the Blues still managed to win the game. Conte will definitely persist with the 3-4-3 formation, which means his preferred defensive trio is likely to stay in the starting eleven.
Right wing-back: Victor Moses
The Nigeria international has been a revelation this season, which is believed to have attracted the attention of Spanish giants Barcelona. However, Chelsea are reportedly set to offer the former Wigan Athletic player a new contract and Moses wouldn’t have a reason to turn it down as he’s finally managed to establish himself at Stamford Bridge.
Central midfielders: N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic
The best midfield duo in the Premier League right now and an absolutely essential part of Conte’s starting eleven.
Left wing-back: Marcos Alonso
The 25-year-old has quickly made the left wing-back spot his own and is proving to be a very good signing for Chelsea.
Right winger: Pedro Rodriguez
The former Barcelona winger is now a key player in Conte’s starting eleven. He’s started Chelsea’s last six league games, scoring 3 goals and providing 4 assists. He scored Chelsea’s important equalizer against Spurs last weekend just before the break.
Left winger: Eden Hazard
The Belgian is constantly terrorizing the opposition defenses and City’s full-backs will have to be very careful in terms of concentration and defensive positioning throughout the derby on Saturday.
Striker: Diego Costa
He didn’t score against Spurs last weekend, but still played very well and it goes without saying that his spot in the starting eleven is not in doubt.
Via – Lineup Builder