9 November 2023
4 major talking points: Chelsea vs Manchester City
Between the two clubs, they have 12 Premier League titles and a history of closely-fought games. Chelsea vs Manchester City has turned into one of the marquee fixtures on the Premier League calendar and here’s why their next meeting on Sunday (live on Showmax Pro Mobile, courtesy of SuperSport) could be key in shaping both of their seasons.
Chelsea on the up?
Many will point out that after a season where they finished 12th, it shouldn’t take much for Chelsea to be on the “up”. They’re also only two places above last year’s finish, so it would be ill-advised for fans to get carried away.
However, from the fragmented young squad that got thrust upon Mauricio Pochettino, it does seem like slow progress is being made, along with some team-building, even if the results have been patchy.
Their last game was their season highlight so far. A 4-1 win away from home against a high-flying Tottenham is a result any team in the world would be proud of.
Their next four games are all against teams that finished in the top six last season, starting with the defending champions. While it might seem like a daunting task for a club that needs points to climb up the table, this run of games could also be seen as an opportunity to show that the Pochettino project can make Chelsea compete with the best again.
Important period for City to assert their dominance
After a brief hiatus, Manchester City are back at the top of the table. With a fixture run against some of the bigger names in the Premier League coming up, the next month is an opportunity for them to put the hammer down and create some breathing space between them and a few teams.
After their visit to Chelsea, they’ll host Liverpool in another instalment of a modern rivalry. After that it’s a home game against Spurs before travelling to an Aston Villa side that keeps impressing under Unai Emery.
They’ll be all too aware that there are some effective “six-pointers” in there that could help shape their season before all the fixture congestion that the December and January period brings.
Chelsea out to end City’s dominant head-to-head streak
One of the greatest days of Chelsea’s history was their win against Manchester City in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final. City have set the record straight since then and have won all of their last six meetings against the Blues without conceding a goal.
Interestingly, there haven’t been many comfortable City wins, with all of their league games in that period having been decided by a single goal. Chelsea have always been up for the battle. They’ve just been unable to find any killer blows.
Chelsea’s abysmal run of home results is another trend they’d be desperate to shake off. They’ve lost three of their last four matches against Stamford Bridge and haven’t won any league games there since August.
Their comfortable win against Spurs was an impressive result, but any positive result against City would be an even better one.
Another chapter in Pochettino vs Guardiola
It’s been a golden age for managerial rivalries in the Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino’s past tussles with Pep Guardiola have been some of the most interesting tactical battles in recent years.
While Guardiola came out on top in most of their games, Pochettino has pulled off wins against the Spaniard at three different clubs. His biggest ones include a Champions League quarter-final win when he was at Spurs, a group stage win when he was at PSG and probably the most impressive was his victory in a derby against Barcelona when the Argentinean was in charge at Espanyol.
Now the two are about to meet for the first time since Pochettino became the Chelsea manager. While this might seem like a start of a new era in the rivalry between the clubs, there’s a fascinating sense of familiarity between the managers.
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