Chelsea and Manchester City prepare to lock horns in what promises to be an exciting Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge. The two sides are level on points, but Manchester City have two games in hand, having racked up a modest tally of 26 points from 14 games.
Frank Lampard and Chelsea have come under immense scrutiny in recent weeks for their inconsistency, with the Blues losing three league games in December against Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Arsenal. Chelsea were also held away from home by a high-flying Aston Villa side last week, as Anwar El Ghazi's second-half strike gave Dean Smith's side a much-needed point.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have blown hot and cold this season. The Cityzens' previous league encounter against Everton was postponed after a handful of Manchester City players tested positive for COVID-19.
Speaking ahead of the game, Lampard claimed that a few Chelsea staff had also tested positive for coronavirus in recent days, and talked up the Premier League's safety protocols. He said:
"I am aware of the (Manchester City) situation. At the moment, the game is on. Man City have had problems at their training ground, we've had a couple ourselves but not the playing staff."
"I understand it (playing on) but safety has to be paramount. The fact that I said we have a couple of staff [who tested] positive... they have babies, parents, friends, sisters, brothers and grandparents."
Chelsea and Manchester City will look for statement victory in Premier League title race
While Chelsea and Manchester City are seven points behind league leaders Liverpool, neither of these two sides can be ruled out of the Premier League title race as things stand. The Cityzens, however, have two games in hand and are more likely to compete with Liverpool and Manchester United at the top of the table.
Chelsea have been in poor form in recent weeks, and their record against the Premier League top six makes for dismal reading. Despite playing away from home, we predict Manchester City to record a win at Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City
Published 03 Jan 2021, 18:32 IST