Chelsea continue a difficult run of fixtures when they welcome Man City to Stamford Bridge, with games against Newcastle, Brighton and Manchester United to follow
From taking on the Premier League leaders after ten matches, Chelsea now move on to the task of taking on the Premier League champions. The Blues came away 4-1 victors against Spurs having arrived at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as underdogs but, at Stamford Bridge, they will have a greater giant to overcome.
Chelsea faced Manchester City four times last term and lost all four games. The west London side have not defeated Pep Guardiola’s team since the Champions League final in 2021. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have reserved some of their better results for the divisions top sides and have not tasted defeat in games against Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs.
While the Blues did what was required against Tottenham, many came away with concerns about Chelsea’s performance. Mauricio Pochettino recognised some issues but was pleased with his side’s discipline.
He said following the game: “To come to the leader against a team that was full of confidence and after to concede because we really, we started the game really bad, very sloppy and we cannot connect, we were very nervous and then how reacts the team. They deserve all of the credit the players, of course, and the team and I think we were calm after because we start to create chances and force them to make the mistake and then we get the goal and I think after the control was there.
“It’s true that we concede some chances that we cannot concede that, I agree with you. Maybe we can assess the performance and to see the goal of Dier or this type of situation or Son, that we lose the ball and we allow them to run, of course, we need to control better.”
Marc Cucurella will hope that he has persuaded Pochettino that he is worth a starting against the Citizens. The Spaniard came on at half time against Spurs to replace Levi Colwill, who received a yellow card just before the break.
The 25-year-old has reinvigorated his Chelsea career in recent weeks though, with a fearsome attacking threat presented, Mauricio Pochettino may rely on Colwill’s greater expertise.
Enzo Fernandez’s position may also come under scrutiny after the midfielder appeared to pick up a knock before being subbed on Monday evening. The Argentina international did not feature in the Blues’ latest release of training photographs on Wednesday so could be in doubt to play on Sunday.
That could see Conor Gallagher come into a deeper role and Cole Palmer moved into a No. 10 position, like against Brentford. Otherwise, Lesley Ugochukwu could come into the base of midfield with Moises Caicedo given greater license to roam.
With Mykhailo Mudryk seeming back to full fitness after returning from the bench against the Lilywhites, a different shape could be an option. The Blues saw plenty of success against Arsenal playing without a recognised forward, though that would mean dropping Nicolas Jackson following his hat-trick. That would see Mudryk return to the side and Sterling swap to the right wing, with Gallagher and Palmer providing the threat through the centre.