Maurizio Sarri will have his work cut out in his attempts to restart Chelsea’s season when they welcome unbeaten Manchester City in the late kick-off.
Chelsea looked to have bounced back from their first defeat of the season against Tottenham with victory over Fulham last weekend, but a second loss quickly followed in the Midlands at Wolves in midweek.
Pep Guardiola’s side however have dropped just two points all season and have won their last seven top-flight games, and so will be hoping to inflict another defeat on the hosts.
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Pressing early on from Chelsea, forcing Manchester City to play the ball around in their own box, but the visitors do that competently, allowing Aymeric Laporte to stride away in comfort with the shackles of the press broken.
Early possession all with City.
Antonio Rudiger is nearly in some early bother pursued by Raheem Sterling, but manages to find Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Eden Hazard as the false nine for Chelsea, Sterling for City.
Out of the tunnel emerge the two sets of players.
Kick off is imminent.
Liverpool’s win at Bournemouth earlier took them top, though Manchester City would reclaim that spot with even a draw.
Chelsea are, realistically, now jostling for position in the top four with Arsenal and Tottenham. It is a huge game, and interesting that both managers have opted to twist rather than stick with novel frontlines.
Contrasting midweek fortunes for these two. Manchester City continued their unbeaten season with an away win at Vicarage Road, but for Chelsea the 2-1 defeat to Wolves was particularly disappointing as they slip out of the title race.
What do we make of those two starting lineups then?
No centre-forwards in sight. Matching 4-3-3’s with a false nine? This should be fun…
Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of today’s headline Premier League encounter between Chelsea and leaders Manchester City, brought to you from Stamford Bridge.
With the match due to kick-off at 5:30pm, there’s plenty of time to follow the latest news ahead of the teams being released at 4:30pm, where will begin our full build-up towards the match.
But until then, take a read of Jack Pitt-Brooke’s big match preview here:
What time does it start?
Chelsea vs Manchester City kicks off at 5:30pm (GMT)
Where can I watch it?
The match will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and 4K UHD from 5pm. BT Sport subscribers will also be able to stream the game via the online video player and the BT Sport app.
Highlights will be shown at 10:30pm on BBC One.
Player to watch
Riyad Mahrez: The Algerian was phenomenal in midweek and drove Pep Guardiola’s side to victory against Watford. He expertly picked out the run of Leroy Sane for City’s first before scoring the decisive goal himself. Guardiola has rotated his team frequently this season, but ahead of the Christmas period Mahrez will be integral as both a starter or as a substitute.
Manchester City: WWWDWW
Chelsea to win: 29/10
Manchester City to win: 10/11
Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City: It will be a nervy win for the reigning champions.
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