This lunchtime sees a titanic title clash between Manchester City and Chelsea, perhaps it’s too early to be talking about six pointers but that is not to lessen the importance of this encounter. 3rd plays host to 1st but with just one point separating the top three those placings could be all change by the end of the day.
Manchester City come into today’s encounter unbeaten in their last six matches but for their own liking have drawn on too many occasions and although they have produced back to back wins over Crystal Palace and Burnley they haven’t quite been at their blistering best.
Both those wins have resulted in a 2-1 scoreline with City being made to work hard for maximum points. After just about coming out of those matches unscathed they are going to have their work cut out this lunchtime when Antonio Conte brings his Chelsea side to The Etihad.
That’s because it has been the magnificent seven for Chelsea with an incredible streak of successive wins under their belt. That run was extended to seven last Saturday when they came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and continues Spurs’ West London hoodoo.
But for 44 minutes of that game Chelsea were second best as Mauricio Pochettino worked out the best way to combat this all conquering side. With Tottenham over running Chelsea in midfield and forcing Victor Moses to a Right Back role they had the Blues on the ropes but they failed to land the knockout blow when ahead.
Going into the break level thanks to Pedro’s wonder strike obviously helped matters but Conte would have certainly earned his money at half time as his men came out with a renewed vigour at the restart and just 10 minutes later were in front thanks to Victor Moses.
The question Today will be whether or not Pep Guardiola will win the tactical masterclass between himself and the former Italy manager. It could very well be here where the game is won and lost as there is not much if anything between the two sides at present.
Some will point at City’s lapses in defence as their achilles heel and rightly so. With injury to Vincent Kompany and John Stones being out of form there is obviously an area that Chelsea can exploit but for all their issues at the back they always have their ace in the hole which is Sergio Aguero.
He may not have known much about his brace against Burnley but like all great finishers he was there in the right place at the right time to make sure City came away from Turf Moor with all three points. Once again the hope and expectation will be that the diminutive Argentine can be the difference today.
Sergio Aguero vs Diego Costa will be the key head to head, which in form striker will get the better of their oppositions backline. Chelsea have looked imperious at the back as of late but they haven’t come up against Aguero yet so this is going to be a real test for them.
Much will be made of the two men on the touchline as a win here will be the opportunity to lay down a huge marker in the race for the title even after only 14 games. I have a feeling City are going to win this one and stop Chelsea’s winning streak with the blue half of Manchester sitting top of the table at the end of the afternoon. Home win for me.