|The biggest clash of the weekend takes us to West London as Chelsea play host to Manchester City, a couple of weeks ago this could have been billed as a fixture with very high stakes in terms of this season’s title race.
However, that billing will have been downgraded slightly by the fact that Chelsea have lost two of their last three league outings, while that dip in form has also seen them cede some serious ground to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
Maurizio Sarri’s men come into this game lying fourth in the Premier League table and you could almost argue that their hopes of winning a second championship in three years are over before the turn of the year.
That is because they find themselves already 10 points behind this weekend’s opponents City and when you consider that Pep Guardiola’s men are still unbeaten this season, it then begs the question as to how a gap of that size can be bridged.
One way to go about it would be to pick up all three points on Saturday evening, but with City in the mood they are in as of late that is a task that is easier said than done. Especially when you consider Chelsea’s recent dip in form.
Their plight was certainly helped on Wednesday as they were handed a defeat by promoted side Wolves at Molineux. Previous to that game the EFL Champions had only picked up a single point out of 18 that were available.
And it looked as if their winless streak was to continue when the Blues went ahead through England international Reuben Loftus-Cheek. However, Nuno Esiprito Santo’s men dug deep and found the kind of performance they were displaying in the opening months of the campaign.
Two quick fire goals for the hosts turned the game on its head as Chelsea looked toothless in attack once more. That defeat may well push Maurizio Sarri into the transfer market next month as Alvaro Morata continues to struggle in the final third.
There have however been no such issues for Manchester City as they continue to set the pace this season, Tuesday night saw them travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford and although it was a tougher contest than previous editions, they still beat the Hornets by two goals to one.
It was a game that displayed just how much strength in depth this City side have, Guardiola has never been afraid to ring the changes and especially with so much football on the horizon this month it proved a smart decision.
There is every possibility that City could start the game lying second in the table, something that will manifest should Liverpool get the better of Bournemouth earlier in the day. Should that happen then it will give the defending champions extra impetus in this fixture.
Not that they will necessarily need it as they seem ready to crush any opponent that dare stands in their way. Chelsea will undoubtedly offer a sterner test than most, but the end outcome will be the same and that is another win for Manchester City.