Manchester City could secure a fifth Premier League title on Saturday, if they successfully overcome a Chelsea side who have recently knocked them out of the FA Cup and will be their Champions League final opponents.
In an already historic and successful week for Manchester City, having reached their first ever Champions League final on Tuesday with a monumental 2-0 victory over Paris Saint Germain, the Blues could win their third Premier League title in four years this weekend.
The 2-0 win over Crystal Palace and the postponement of Manchester United versus Liverpool means that City’s title destiny is back in their own hands, needing just three more points to guarantee the title.
The further three points could come on Saturday evening, if Pep Guardiola is able to overcome Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. With Manchester City failing to breakdown the strong Chelsea set-up at Wembley a few weeks back, and a massive Champions League final at the end of the month between the two sides, many will be tactically intrigued as to how they and Chelsea set-up - even more so given City thrashed Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in January with a striker-less set-up.
Sergio Aguero returned to the City side with a goal last weekend while Ferran Torres also shined. City were though exemplary in the midweek against PSG, so Guardiola is expected to face a number of selection dilemmas ahead of Saturday.
Here is how we think Pep Guardiola will set-up in Saturday night's potentially title winning match against Chelsea…
Zack Steffen may have played in both the previous matches this season against Chelsea, however one expects Ederson to make is 189th Manchester City start and look to extend the gap between himself and Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy for the Golden Glove award this weekend.
John Stones will continue to serve his three-match suspension as a result of his red card at Aston Villa, meaning Aymeric Laporte can be expected to slot in alongside Ruben Dias in central defence - with the Portuguese defender on-course to make his 30th Premier League appearance.
Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko both started and excelled in the full-back roles in midweek, but expect only the Ukrainian to keep his place against Chelsea. Despite of his somewhat inconsistent form as of late, Joao Cancelo will likely play over Kyle Walker in his favoured right-back role, where the 26 year-old has found joy coming in-field, with three assists and one goal from the eight big chances he has created so far this season.
Fernandinho proved himself worthy of a new contract on Tuesday, but expect the 36 year-old to drop down to the bench for Rodri - who made his 100th appearance for the Blues in Paris last week.
Given the expectation that Pep Guardiola will opt to play with a striker against Chelsea, Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan will start in-front of Rodri, with the Belgian looking to continue his impressive goalscoring record versus his former club.
Even if somewhat sentimental given what is at stake, Sergio Aguero’s performance at Palace last week means he is worthy of starting up top for the Blues against Chelsea. The departing Argentine is only two goals short of surpassing Wayne Rooney’s record and only against Newcastle has Aguero scored more goals - with 13 goals in 19 appearances against Chelsea.
Either side of Aguero will be Manchester City’s in-form duo of Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez. The former, who is reportedly expected to sign a new deal at Manchester City was instrumental against PSG, and when he faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in January.
Meanwhile Mahrez, who scored both of Manchester City’s goals in midweek has been similarly impressive and can be expected to get the nod over Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres, as the Sky Blues seek to wrap-up the Premier League title.
Substitutes: Zack Steffen, Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus
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