It’s back to Premier League duty this Saturday as our international stars travel to the blue half of Manchester to play the Champions. Frank Lampard goes back to Manchester City where he will receive a good reception after playing 32 games for the Citizens between 2015/16. On Saturday there’ll be no split loyalties as Frank and the team will want to bring the three points back to Stamford Bridge.
As current Champions, City lie in fourth position. Their last game before the international break saw them lose 3-1 to Liverpool, thus dropping behind their title rivals by nine points. Not only that but they have now dropped below Leicester and of course, us too.
However, you can never write City off, especially with their skill and firepower. Although City are in fourth place, goals have come easy in both the Premier League and Champions League. A combined tally of 27 goals from Raheem Sterling (14) and Sergio Aguero (13) can, on their day, give City effortless victories.
Along with the goals scored, Kevin De Bruyne has chipped in with two goals, but his nine assists give City tremendous attacking prowess. Riyad Mahrez has also assisted with six goals this season and has scored three himself, so there’s no shortage of chances.
With all the goals scored, City have suffered defensively as they haven’t been able to replace Vincent Kompany. John Stones was thought to be the answer, but he hasn’t shown solid form this season. Aymeric Laporte is currently out with a long-term injury, so Stones has had defensive midfielder Fernandinho as a central defensive partner in a disjointed pairing.
Christian Pulisic is our injury concern. He picked up a hip injury against Crystal Palace before the international break and reports say that he will still be out against City. Ross Barkley is rated as 50/50 for the game. Both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Toni Rudiger could be back during December.
Frank will continue with his 4-3-3 formation with the possibility of Callum Hudson-Odoi coming in to replace Pulisic. The fixture won’t deter our younger players who will relish going to the Champions to show how good they are.
City’s home form has been good this season, however, a 0-2 defeat to Wolves at the start of October should give us hope. City just about managed to beat Southampton at the start of this month, this after The Saints lost 0-9 at home to Leicester City. Our own Premier League away record has been exemplary this season, so how will we get on?
A draw would be a fine result, but there could be goals galore with either side coming out on top. We have had some fine victories at City in the past, namely the two 1-3 wins (2008 & 2016) Tammy Abraham could give the City defence nightmares as could Aguero with us.
However, I am going to say that we’ll take the three points with a 2-3 victory, along with revenge for the abysmal defeat last season. A 1-3 victory with Tammy Abraham scoring first is 80/1 with a popular bookmaker, surely its worth a quid, or two? Or if you fancy a straight 2-3 victory, the same bookmaker has it at 40/1.