Manchester City host Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday as they prepare to win their third Premier League title in four years under manager Pep Guardiola.
The Champions-elect are just one win away from being crowned as Premier League Champions for the 2020/21 season and the chilled champagne is ready for the potential title celebrations this weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s men also secured their spot in this year’s Champions League Final and made history for the club by beating Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 on aggregate. This group of players has improved immensely under the Catalan, overcoming the heartbreaks of three consecutive quarter-final exits. They will now face familiar domestic rival Chelsea on the 29th of May in their first ever Champions League final.
But first, the two sides will meet on home soil in the 35th game week of the Premier League. Manchester City need just three points from their remaining fixtures to get their hands on the prestigious Premier League trophy for the 3rd time in four years under Guardiola.
Manchester City have been in unparalleled form this season, winning 33 of their last 36 games to secure themselves a fourth consecutive Carabao Cup, an impending Premier League title and have booked their spot in the Champions League final.
The Citizens will look to avenge their FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea when they meet at the Etihad on Saturday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side is fully fit ahead of their 57th game of the season. This will surely give the manager a sweet headache while deciding his line-up for Saturday’s game.
For Chelsea - as confirmed by Thomas Tuchel in his pre match press conference - Mateo Kovacic is the only player unavailable for the London side.
Manchester City have been in great form heading into the 35th game-week of the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s side have won eight of their last 10 games leading up to this one. The Blues set a new record of the most consecutive wins (7) in the Champions League by an English side after their victory against PSG earlier this week. They have scored 10 goals and conceded three in their last five Premier League games.
Thomas Tuchel’s side has turned their season around after the German’s appointment back in January. They have secured positions in the FA Cup and Champions League finals but are hanging by a thread in 4th position in the Premier League. The London side are under immense pressure and need to end their league season on a strong note if they want to finish in the top four and eventually secure a Champions League spot.
The last time these two sides met was back in April when Manchester City lost 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Pep Guardiola heavily rotated the side, making eight changes and eventually had to pay the price for a lacklustre performance. Hakim Ziyech scored the only goal in the match and took his side through to the final.
Overall, City have won seven of their previous 10 meetings with the London side before Saturday’s fixture, with this being the 168th occasion on which the two sides meet.
Pep’s Pre-Match Thoughts
In his pre match press conference on Friday, Guardiola spoke about his side’s mentality heading into this game against their eventual Champions League final opponents. But the Catalan in his own way completely set aside the Champions League talks, stating that the Premier League was their primary focus heading into this weekend.
"Right now, there is not one thought about the final as we don’t have the Premier League in our hands. When we have the Premier League, tomorrow in the next weeks, then the focus will be on the Champions League and everything related to it. But I’m so cautious to think if you don’t have it then don’t talk. We still need points,” the Catalan said.
With his side now within touching distance of another Premier League title, the boss was also asked about the domestic league’s importance for his club, he replied; “Always I've said the Premier League is the most important title, I would say financially for Man City qualification for the Champions League is the most important. But there is no doubt what is the most important thing."
"We have four games to get two points, one victory we're going to try to get it."
Referee Anthony Taylor, who officiates his 25th Premier League match of the season, will be joined by Assistant Referees Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn, along with Jonathan Moss as the Fourth Official.
Stuart Attwell (VAR) and Andy Halliday (AVAR) have been handed the VAR duties at the Etihad.
Where to Watch
In the UK, fans will be able to watch the fixture live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League at 17:30 (UK) on Saturday 8th May.
For viewers living abroad, you can find the TV listings here.
Matchday with City Xtra
City Xtra will be providing live content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook during the match. Lewis and Jordan on the City Xtra Youtube Channel will also provide their usual live watch-along as well as the post-match phone-in show.
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