Chelsea are coming off of a full week’s rest after losing to Manchester United and igniting yet another CRISIS. Manchester City are not-so-fresh (we hope) from a double drubbing of Arsenal, on Sunday, in the Carabao Cup final and then again on Thursday in the Premier League, scoring three without conceding in both matches.
They have a 16-point lead on everyone else, they’re strolling to the title and Pep Guardiola says they need to improve.
“I was delighted for the victory against Arsenal, but ahead of the game against Chelsea we will be showing the players the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half of that game because if that was in the Champions League then we would be out.
“We lost some of the control and we didn’t know what we should do – of course we are so happy with the win, but sometimes we have to let them know that we are not good enough and not let them think ‘we are perfect’.”
-Pep Guardiola; source: Manchester City FC
This could get ugly. Or it could be glorious. After the frustrations of the Barcelona draw and the Manchester United loss, can Chelsea clinch a famous victory?
Date / Time: Sunday, March 4, 2018, 16:00 GMT; 11:00am EST; 9:30pm IST
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Referee: Michael Oliver — we last saw him in the EFL quarter-final loss to Arsenal in January. Before that he handled our 0-0 draw with Arsenal in September and our 1-1 draw with Liverpool in November. Two draws an omen?
Forecast: Storm Emma is forecast to blow itself out and by kickoff the weather should be a chilly 4°C (39°F) with a 23% chance of rain. Expect gloves
On TV: Sky Sports (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); HotStar (India)
Manchester City team news: Pep’s squad are without Fernandinho (hamstring) and Fabian Delph (suspension). Kyle Walker is a bit wobbly from Thursday and is a game-day decision. Fernandinho was replaced by Ilkay Gundogan against Arsenal midweek. We’ll see if Guardiola does the same again.
Chelsea team news: For Chelsea, the stakes are obvious. We’re likely to be even further than five points behind the top four by the time this late Sunday affair gets going — Spurs and Liverpool both play on Saturday.
Three points would be deliriously received, one gratefully, but let’s be honest, none are really expected, such has been City’s dominance. They beat us 0-1 at our place at the end of September on a De Bruyne thunderblast.
Previously: De Bruyne was critical in our last meeting at the Etihad as well, with his crucial miss one of the biggest turning points of the season.