Manchester City v Chelsea – BBC Sport

Pep Guardiola is on the cusp of winning a ninth league title in 12 top-flight seasons as a managerTEAM NEWS

John Stones is available for Manchester City after serving a domestic ban against Crystal Palace last weekend.

Fellow defender Eric Garcia is expected to remain out with a fever but City have no other reported fitness issues as they seek to secure the title.

Chelsea could again be without Mateo Kovacic because of a hamstring problem.

Antonio Rudiger, who missed the league win against Fulham due to a facial injury, played against Real Madrid in midweek wearing a protective mask.


Guy Mowbray: Blue is definitely this season’s colour, with all the cool trophies to be seen wearing ribbons of whatever shade.

Manchester City already have the League Cup, and a win here will secure them the Premier League trophy for the third time in four seasons before these two meet again in Istanbul at the end of the month in club football’s most glamorous seasonal soiree.

Whilst City’s place in the spotlight was forecast by all (once over a relatively scruffy start), Chelsea have been the rising stars of the year. Previously just a part of the pack, they’ve responded magnificently to the methods of Thomas Tuchel – who’s not given them a complete makeover, but rather a light airbrushing in the areas most needed.

Eighteen clean sheets in 24 games – only conceding more than one once (freakishly against West Brom) – shows that functionality over flamboyance is a la mode down the Kings Road in 2021.

It brought deserved success against City in the FA Cup semi-final three weeks ago – a game in which Pep Guardiola’s players looked uncommonly out of sorts. I wouldn’t expect that to be the case again here.

After being almost perfect against PSG, City will be fired up for getting the job done, opening the champagne, and laying a marker down for 29 May.

That’s when the season will end, before the next one comes round so very quickly with the Community Shield. It could be…


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