Premier League Preview: Chelsea head to the Etihad for a battle of the Blues

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Chelsea left it late to claim all three points in south London on Monday evening, beating Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace 3-1 at Selhurst Park thanks to two late strikes from Connor Gallagher and Enzo Fernández. 

Mauricio Pochettino will be happy with his side rallying to a character-fuelled late win but their performance in SE25 – especially in the first half – still left a lot to be desired, and a similar showing away at reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday evening will almost certainly result in a much different outcome. 

City welcome Chelsea full of momentum having stretched their winning run to seven straight wins with a routine 2-0 victory over Everton last Saturday before breezing past Copenhagen 3-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday. 

Pep Guardiola’s side still find themselves behind leaders Liverpool by two points at the summit of the top-flight table, although with a game in hand will feel quietly confident in their chances of leapfrogging the Reds in the coming months should this rich vein of form continue. 

Kevin De Bruyne looks back to his showstopping best since returning from injury in January and notched himself three assists in the games against the Toffees and Copenhagen, whilst Erling Haaland was back amongst the goals at the weekend, scoring a brace in front of an adorning Etihad crowd which has distanced him at the top of the goalscorer charts where he now has a two-goal buffer over Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (16 to 14). 

With this sort of scorching firepower going forward, it is difficult to see Chelsea shutting out City this weekend. The Blues’ backline has been breached alarmingly easily this term and they have shipped a whopping 40 goals in 24 league outings. The west Londoners have only managed one clean sheet in their last seven Premier League games and travel to the north west having not won at the Etihad in their previous four attempts across all competitions. 

Despite this, heading into the fixture on the back of sealing a spot in the FA Cup fifth round following a tremendous performance and 4-1 win over Aston Villa last week, as well as recently booking their spot in the League Cup final at the end of this month, there is most definitely a cause for optimism for Chelsea ahead of this weekend’s headline attraction.

Manchester City, for all of their dominance and seemingly limitless attacking prowess, have not been as assured as usual defensively this season. Guardiola’s men have conceded 25 goals in 23 league games this term, and Saturday’s clean sheet win over Everton was the first time they have managed to completely shut out the opposition in the league since a 2-0 win over bottom club Sheffield United at the end of 2023. 

The form of summer signing Cole Palmer has been a shining beacon in Chelsea’s generally dreary season to date, and fresh from providing two fantastic late assists at Selhurst Park, the Manchester City academy graduate will be desperate to show his former employers exactly what they are missing. 

Palmer has 10 top-flight goals and six assists to his name this season so far and is displaying the sort of form which is beginning to suggest that his involvement at this summer’s European Championship will be a foregone conclusion. 

Upsetting City’s title-surge this weekend will be at the top of the 21-year-old’s agenda as we gear up for another mouthwatering clash in the world’s most exciting league. 

Premier League Gameweek 25 – Fixtures in full


Brentford 12:30 Liverpool

Burnley 15:00 Arsenal

Fulham 15:00 Aston Villa

Newcastle United 15:00 AFC Bournemouth

Nottingham Forest 15:00 West Ham United

Tottenham Hotspur 15:00 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manchester City 17:30 Chelsea


Sheffield United 14:00 Brighton & Hove Albion

Luton Town 16:30 Manchester United


Everton 20:00 Crystal Palace

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