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Though the 2021-22 season is still very much in its early stages, there is a hint of ‘title decider’ about this match between the Blues and the Citizens – both of whom are among the strong favourites to lift the Premier League trophy come May next year.
“We want to win, we want to compete and of course we want to be successful. This is in Chelsea’s nature, and of course, we are up for the challenge,” said manager Thomas Tuchel ahead of hosting the reigning English champions.
City manager Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has expressed his satisfaction at his team’s ability to trust in the processes that bring success: “The people day by day and the way that they train in these two or three days, I’m really impressed. I said to the players: ‘Continue like this guys.’ I’m not glad about the result[s] – it’s the way they behave every single day. Now, it is non-stop.”
Kai Havertz – The scorer of the goal which beat Manchester City in the final of the UEFA Champions League last season, Havertz has become a key man for Chelsea, with his versatility and intelligence allowing the Blues to alter their attacking approach at will.
Kevin De Bruyne – The Belgian attacking midfielder has done plenty of damage to his former team in the past and will be a dangerous man for the hosts once again come Saturday afternoon. De Bruyne’s passing, shooting, and ability to change the tempo of attack mark him out as a uniquely gifted attacking midfielder.
In head-to-head stats, Chelsea and Man City have met in 169 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1907. The Blues have claimed 71 wins compared to 59 for the Citizens, while 39 games have been drawn.
The teams met no less than four times last season – twice in the Premier League, once in the FA Cup, and, most recently, in the UEFA Champions League final – with Chelsea claiming three wins to City’s one. In fact, the Blues have won four of the last five matches against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Battles to watch
Thomas Tuchel v Pep Guardiola – Tuchel has certainly got the advantage over Guardiola, with three straight wins against City since he joined Chelsea in late January 2021. The Spaniard will be itching to claw that record back come Saturday afternoon, but Stamford Bridge will be a hostile place for the Premier League champions.
Romelu Lukaku v Ruben Dias – Lukaku looks to be the missing piece that completes Chelsea’s line-up, bringing goals and a superb all-around focal point for their attack. Yet if any defender has the nous and aggression to quell the Belgian’s threat, it is City center-back Dias.
N’Golo Kante v Ilkay Gundogan – A battle of two energetic, well-rounded and charismatic midfielders. Kante is the better player in defensive terms, while Gundogan offers more of a threat in attack. Whichever one comes out on top in this duel will hand their team a massive advantage.
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Match broadcast details
All times CAT
Saturday 25 September
13:30: Chelsea v Manchester City – LIVE on SuperSport Premier League and SuperSport Maximo 1