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Preview: Manchester City vs Chelsea | Premier League

Chelsea face Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.

Both sides have been hit with Covid problems in the last couple of weeks but are set to be at near full strength for Saturday's heavyweight clash. 

Pep Guardiola got the better of Thomas Tuchel earlier on this season at Stamford Bridge following a narrow 1-0 victory in the capital.

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Tuchel insists he has learned from his mistakes from September's defeat, but will that change the outcome on Saturday? 

"My approach was the wrong approach tactically," reflected the Blues head coach ahead of the game. "It made us too passive, we could have done better. I think the approach was too passive, too defensive. It was not meant like this but it turned out this way. Lesson learned

Recent form

Manchester City have won their last 11 Premier League matches, which will only bode well with their record of eight wins out of 12 against the Blues at the Etihad.

Guardiola's men have been free scoring in recent weeks - netting 24 goals in their previous six matches in all competitions. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea have dropped poor points in recent weeks against the likes of Everton and Brighton, currently sitting ten points behind the league leaders.

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But they are yet to be beaten in 2022 - a brilliant 2-2 draw against Liverpool as they fought back, before a two-legged win over Tottenham Hotspur saw the Blues reach the Carabao Cup final. 

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Team news

The hosts are expected to welcome back an array of players following self-isolation spells after a Covid outbreak within the camp last week. 

Riyad Mahrez is at the Africa Cup of Nations, like Edouard Mendy, while John Stones could return from a knock. 

Chelsea will be without four players. As expected, Ben Chilwell (ACL) and Reece James (hamstring) continue to be sidelined for the Blues.

Tuchel will also be without Trevoh Chalobah again due to a hamstring injury. 

Chelsea received another blow this week ahead of the game after Andreas Christensen tested positive for Covid-19.

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Prediction

Two of the best managers are going head-to-head this weekend. Two of the best sides in England are going out to battle. It's finely poised with a win for City likely to end Chelsea's hopes of clinching their first title in five years. 

City's preparations have been disrupted this week because of Guardiola's positive test earlier this week, but with the strength in depth and 24 goals in their last 6 games, City are unlikely to let up against Chelsea. 

Defensively Chelsea will need to be sound, as they will need to be ruthless in attack. If they get one chance, they have to take it otherwise City could take all three points and claim the league double over Tuchel's Blues.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Chelsea


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