Many would have forecasted this game as a title decider at the start of the season, but neither side are close to the summit with only five games remaining. Chelsea will look to ruin Man City’s hopes of a top four finish as they themselves prepare for next season.
Chelsea were 32 points better off at this point last season, a statistic that no one could have envisaged. They sit in tenth position between Stoke and Bournemouth and have nothing to play for in these late stages.
Before Chelsea lost to Swansea last weekend, they had gone on an impressive run of form, without a loss since December last year. However, Chelsea have drawn as many games as they’ve won this season (11), which is one reason why they find themselves in mid-table obscurity.
They face a City side coming off a momentous victory in the Champions League which has seen them qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in their history. However, their place within the domestic top four is still not secured and they could find themselves only one point ahead of their city rivals by the end of the weekend.
City have struggled away this season, winning only six of their 15 games away from the Etihad. With fatigue potentially being an issue, Chelsea might see this game as an opportunity to regain some pride ahead of the forthcoming 2016/17 campaign.
Chelsea will have to monitor a number of senior players ahead of the weekend with many picking up knocks which may force them out of the fixture.
Defender Gary Cahill, plus midfielders Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic should all regain fitness to be in contention, but Willian, Loic Remy and John Terry may face a harder battle to be fit in time.
Man City have the same team available that played against PSG. City fans would have been pleased to see Yaya Toure return to the side after the midfielder had suffered a minor injury.
Visiting boss Manuel Pellegrini is still without winger Raheem Sterling and captain Vincent Kompany though, neither of them are likely to play before the end of the season.
League Positions: Chelsea – 10th (44 pts); Manchester City – 4th (57 pts)
Form: Chelsea – WWDDWL; Manchester City – LWDLWW
Previous Meeting: Chelsea 5-1 Manchester City – February, 2016 (FA Cup)
Key Players: Chelsea – Diego Costa; Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne
Shoot Says: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City