LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Manchester City and Chelsea meet in a top of the table English Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge and both managers enter the game without several key players.
For leaders Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho, there is no leading goalscorer Diego Costa, who is out suspended, while top playmaker and leading assister Cesc Fabregas is also out because of a hamstring injury.
So Mourinho has decided to call on Loic Remy to lead the attack with club icon Didier Drogba, who was tipped to start the game, selected to the bench.
Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian will all play vital support to Remy, with defender Kurt Zouma keeping his place in back four after impressing the last time out.
Defender Felipe Luis, who limped off the field in the last game, is also out because of an injury, but Branislav Ivanovic will start in back.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is without the likes of Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony, who are both on international duties with Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has recovered from a knock, but starts on the bench, while speedy midfielder Jesus Navas is fit to take his place on the wing.
Chelsea enters Saturday’s game five points ahead of Manchester City in the English Premier League standings, but the defending champions are confident about closing that gap with a victory on the road.
“We are going to try to continue playing how we play every week and hopefully we will take victory,” Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini said in his interview before the game.
“It will be three very important points but there is still 45 to play for after today so it might not be the difference.”
Chelsea comes into the matchup with a 100% home record in the league after winning 10-out-of-10 starts.
Team News and Lineups
Manchester City Team: Hart, Sagna, Kompany (C), Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Fernando, Fernandinho, Milner, Silva, Agüero. Subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Boyata, Kolarov, Lampard, Jovetic, Dzeko
Chelsea Team: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Remy. Subs: Cech, Cahill, Christensen, Ake, Loftus-Cheek, Brown, Drogba