Without question the biggest fixture of this Premier League weekend is at Stamford Bridge as we see two title contenders go head to head in what is one of the first major skirmishes of the season. Defending champions Chelsea go up against free scoring Manchester City.
Both teams come into this game off of the back of Champions League success in midweek as Manchester City eventually brushed away Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk while Chelsea earned all three points against Atletico Madrid and ruined their homewarming party in European competition.
On the pitch things could not be better for Manchester City as they rolling over all that is put in front of them this month but off the pitch the same cannot be said as Pep Guardiola has had to deal with not one but two pieces of serious injury news.
Firstly there was the news that defender Benjamin Mendy will be ruled out for nine months after rupturing his ACL in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace and then there was the bitter pill to swallow with the news that Sergio Aguero was injured in Amsterdam after being involved in a taxi accident while on the way back from a concert in Amsterdam.
Manchester City certainly do have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking personnel but there is no doubting that the absence of Aguero is going to be sorely missed. Not just for the club but also for the player himself as he sits agonisignly as the club’s record joint goalscorer.
That is a record that will be broken one day this season without doubt and if Alvaro Morata keeps up his scoring form for Chelsea then he could be set to break records of his own in West London. It is now four goals in the space of a week for the former Real Madrid forward.
He played the biggest part in Chelsea’s 4-0 win over Stoke last Saturday as he scored a hat-trick. One that sees his Premier League goal tally go up to six goals in as many matches and in addition to that he also scored the goal that bought Chelsea back into their clash with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
It would be Michy Batshuyai who would grab the headlines after his late winner at the new Wanda Metropolitano but Morata’s contribution that night can certainly not be understated as he and his teammates efforts spared David Luiz’ blushes after he gave away a first half penalty.
Another lapse in concentration for the Brazilian defender who misses out on this clash due to suspension after he was sent off against Arsenal a fortnight ago. There is no doubting the defenders talents but it’s aberrations like this that stop him from being truly defined as world class.
One player who is on the way to getting there and will now have to pick up the slack after the injury suffered to Sergio Aguero is Germany’s Leroy Sane. His moment of brilliance last weekend opened the scoring against a hapless Crystal Palace.
For Roy Hodgson’s men the goal came just at the wrong time as he was ready to prepare a team talk of same again after keeping City quiet for nearly 45 minutes, unfortunately for them tough Pep Guardiola’s blue machine went up through the gears and scored four more unanswered goals in what eventually resembled a training ground exercise.
Chelsea’s defence will be able to rest slightly easier with the news that there is no Sergio Aguero but they will still have to deal with the likes of Sane and team mates Gabriel Jesus and an in form Raheem Sterling who will now likely have more to offer than just an impact sub.
I made my predictions before the injury to Sergio Ageuro and I felt it would end up as a draw, but what with the absence of the Argentine on the horizon I think that is just going to tip the balance in Antonio Conte’s favour. He won both clashes last season and I think he will make it three from three with a win here this evening. Home win.
Here is what social media thinks – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 29, 2017