Days after their meeting in the Premier League, Manchester City and Chelsea will butt heads in the FA Cup third round.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who knocked Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup earlier this season, picked up an entertaining, hard-fought 1-0 victory on Thursday to boost their chances of catching Arsenal at the top of the table.
It was an improved performance from Graham Potter’s Blues but one which extended their poor run of form to just three wins in their last 11 games. The FA Cup looks like Chelsea’s last chance of silverware this season.
Here’s all you need to know about this one.
Man City team news
Ruben Dias remains out through injury and it’s unlikely that Aymeric Laporte will return either, despite initial optimism that he stood a chance of featuring in the Premier League meeting between these two sides.
Expect some rotation from Guardiola, who could turn to the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez, although the boss could opt to go strong here and rest his bigger names for the FA Cup quarter-final against Southampton in the week.
(4-3-3): Ortega; Lewis, Stones, Akanji, Cancelo; Phillips, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Alvarez, Grealish.
Chelsea team news
Potter admitted he could hardly believe what was going on as he watched both Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic join Chelsea’s huge list of injured players during the league game against City.
Edouard Mendy, Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Armando Broja are all out already and we’re unlikely to see returns for Wesley Fofana, Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Ben Chilwell, which really limits the rotation options available to the boss. Expect some academy faces on the bench.
(4-3-1-2): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella; Jorginho, Zakaria, Chukwuemeka; Ziyech; Havertz, Aubameyang.
City have had Chelsea’s number this season, and with injuries only weakening the Blues for this one, it’s tough to predict anything other than a City victory.
Guardiola takes these competitions seriously as he embarks on another quest to win the quadruple and will smell blood in the water against a Chelsea side who are down to their bare bones and bursting with inexperience outside of their starters.
Chelsea did give City a scare in the first half last time out and did ask some questions later on, so they shouldn’t be afraid to give this one a real go, but chances are they’ll meet a similar fate.
Prediction: Man City 2-0 Chelsea