English Premier League Match Preview Round 37 (2022/23) Manchester City Vs Chelsea
Written By Onyeka Daniel
Today at the Etihad stadium, Manchester City will welcome Chelsea to their home ground having already won the English Premier League title following Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest yesterday. The Blues will be giving the Cityzens a guard of honor before the game kicks off as they claim their third EPL title in a row, emulating their neighbors, Manchester United as the last team to lift the title thrice in a row.
For both teams, there’s almost nothing to play for. But for Norwegian striker, Erling Haaland, the chance to increase his goal tally will be on his mind now, while for Pep Guardiola, he would definitely shift his focus to the two remaining trophies up for grab (UCL and FA Cup) as he aims to achieve a historic treble with this City side that has been the best team in Europe this season.
They cemented that status by putting on a masterclass against Europe’s most successful side Real Madrid, beating them 4-0 to book their tickets to just their second-ever UEFA Champions League final, the trophy that may cement Guardiola’s legacy as one of football’s greatest managers.
But first, they will have to contend with this Chelsea side that has nothing to play for except their wounded pride that has really taken a beating after a disastrous campaign that will see them miss out on European football for the first time in 15 years.
The constant change in managers hasn’t helped either and with the record of not losing six consecutive matches without scoring to any opponent in their history also at stake, we should expect a little bit of fireworks from the visiting side who haven’t had it easy with injuries this season.
Getting a win here would be a tall order no matter the circumstances for Frank Lampard and his boys as none of their last 14 PL meetings against teams starting the day above them have ended in victory and winning just two of their last 15 away games is not a good record against this City side that seems to play total football.
Style Of Play
The 4-3-3 formation is almost likely to be deployed by Guardiola as he looks to perfect his plans for the UCL final and we might see some players playing reduced roles, like Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan while giving more chances to the likes of Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and maybe Kalvin Phillips.
For Chelsea, Lampard will be going with three at the back as he looks to make do with the players available. With his choices very much reduced in the wing-back roles, playing the likes of Noni Madueke, Raheem Sterling and Mudryk as attacking wing-backs in a 3-4-3 formation shouldn’t be out of place. Playing tbe 4-3-3 formation is also another option with Lewis Hall and Cesar Azpiliqueta able to play as left-back while the Spanish defender and Wesley Fofana can also play as right-back.
Manchester City have an almost impeccable record in their recent games, winning 17 games and drawing 3 in their last 20 games. Those draws were all away games against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig in knockout stages of the UCL. For Chelsea in their last 20 games, they’ve just 4 wins, 6 draws and 10 losses. After beating Bournemouth and drawing against Nottingham Forest, they will be hoping to make it three games without a loss since March.
Head To Head
In their last 20 games played against each other, Manchester City have 13 wins while Chelsea have 7 wins with no draw. The Cityzens have been dominating lately, having won in their last 5 encounters and could make it 6 straight wins today.
Read Also: Fantasy Premier League Preview: Week 37
Players To Watch
Guardiola might be tempted to tinker with his lineup, but expect Haaland to play from the start as he attempts to increase his record breaking goal tally in the EPL and in Europe this season, with support from the likes of Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden. Chelsea will be banking on their Argentine midfielder, Enzo Fernandez while Kai Havertz should lead the attack with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke should be running the show down the flanks.
Injuries And Suspensions
Only Nathan Ake will be missing for the new EPL champions while Benjamin Mendy still remains suspended. Chelsea have a host of injuries to contend with. Armando Broja, Benoit Badiashile, M. Bertinelli, Ngolo Kante, Mason Mount, James Reece, Marc Cucurella, and Ben Chilwell while Kalidou Koulibaly and Mateo Kovacic remain 8n doubt and will probably not feature so they can attain full fitness.
With little or nothing to play for from both sides, should be an open game and will most likely produce plenty of goals.
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