Chelsea fans express understandable apprehension as they prepare to face league leaders Manchester City at Stamford Bridge this weekend. Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola, have showcased formidable offensive prowess, scoring three or more goals in nine matches this season, just one less than the number of games in which Chelsea managed to score a single goal.
Guardiola’s side, having reclaimed the top spot in the league, enters the clash with heightened confidence, having scored an impressive 15 goals in their last four games. Their recent qualification for the Champions League knockout stages further solidifies their strong form.
However, before the international break, they face Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who enters the match with their own confidence boosted by a 4-1 victory over Tottenham in their previous outing.
Despite Chelsea’s recent success, they are aware that a comparable performance against Manchester City might not yield the same favorable outcome.
A glimmer of optimism for Chelsea lies in the fact that the prolific Erling Haaland has never scored against them, although the Norwegian forward may be motivated to change that statistic.
However, a potential concern for Chelsea is Haaland’s recent early substitution due to an ankle twist in the game against Bournemouth. While Manchester City secured a 6-1 victory without relying on Haaland’s impact, questions arise regarding his fitness for the upcoming clash.
Guardiola acknowledged the need to exercise caution with Haaland, stating, “Twist in the ankle, we didn’t want to take risks with him, he didn’t feel comfortable.” The timeline for Haaland’s return remains uncertain, posing an additional factor for Chelsea to consider in this crucial encounter.