Saturday’s Premier League action is headlined by two heavyweights who shared eight goals when they met earlier this season. Is more entertainment in store? We look ahead to the game with our Manchester City vs Chelsea prediction and preview.

Manchester City vs Chelsea Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Across 10,000 pre-match simulations by the Opta supercomputer, Manchester City beat Chelsea in 64.0% of scenarios, with the Blues given just a 13.6% chance of victory.
  • Man City and Chelsea played out a 4-4 draw in November’s reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge. The most goals ever scored between these teams in a single Premier League campaign is nine in 2009-10, when City recorded 2-1 and 4-2 wins.
  • Having assisted in all four of City’s Premier League games in 2024, Kevin De Bruyne could become the 11th player to tee up a goal in five straight games in the competition.

Match Preview

Manchester City and Chelsea played out what was surely the game of the Premier League season so far when they last met in November, sharing eight goals in a topsy-turvy draw at Stamford Bridge. They face off again in Saturday’s return fixture, with City in ominous form and Chelsea looking to build on Monday’s morale-boosting victory at Crystal Palace. Is another classic in store?

Chelsea 4-4 Man City xG race

Man City should certainly be expected to uphold their part of the bargain. Pep Guardiola’s men are in irresistible form, with their current 11-game winning streak across all competitions their longest since a 21-match run between December 2020 and March 2021.

They remained within two points of Premier League leaders Liverpool with last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Everton, before resuming their UEFA Champions League defence with a 3-1 victory over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday. Kevin De Bruyne played a starring role in midweek, opening the scoring himself before winning a challenge to tee up Bernardo Silva for City’s second goal and pulling the ball back into the path of Phil Foden for a late third.

De Bruyne has wasted no time in getting back up to speed following a five-month injury lay-off, assisting a goal in all four of City’s Premier League games in 2024 despite only starting two of them.

He now has a chance to become just the 11th different player to assist a goal on five or more consecutive appearances in the competition, and the first to do so for the Citizens. De Bruyne also has 66 Premier League assists at the Etihad Stadium, with only Manchester United great Ryan Giggs (84 at Old Trafford) ever recording more at a single venue.

Against Everton, De Bruyne teed up the second of Erling Haaland’s two goals with a defence-splitting through ball, his 12th assist for the Norwegian in all competitions since the start of last season. That is the most managed by any Premier League player for a specific teammate in that time.

The in-form Foden should maintain his place in the lineup alongside De Bruyne, though Jérémy Doku could return on the left flank after starting Wednesday’s game among the substitutes. Doku leads all Premier League players for chances created from open play per 90 minutes this season (2.68), also ranking second to Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey for open-play expected assists (xA) per 90 (0.32).

Halting City’s momentum looks a daunting task, but Chelsea enter Saturday’s game in positive spirits after back-to-back road wins over Aston Villa (in the FA Cup) and Crystal Palace (in the Premier League).

The Blues trailed to Jefferson Lerma’s stunning strike at Selhurst Park on Monday, only to rally after the half-time introduction of Christopher Nkunku sparked a change to a 4-2-2-2 formation. Former Palace loanee Conor Gallagher struck twice to put Chelsea ahead, then Enzo Fernández rounded off a 3-1 win in stoppage time.

Cole Palmer recorded two assists, taking him to 16 goal contributions (10 goals, six assists) in a fine first Premier League season with Chelsea. The most memorable moment of his debut campaign with the Blues, though, remains his stoppage-time penalty in the reverse fixture against City.

Raheem Sterling also scored in that game, and he and Palmer are both looking to net home and away against their former club in the same season, something no ex-City player has previously done in the Premier League. In team news, Sterling faces a battle for a starting berth here, however, with Nicolas Jackson and Noni Madueke preferred in the wide areas against Palace.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino is eyeing a landmark victory on Saturday, with his four previous wins over Guardiola coming with three different clubs (Espanyol, Tottenham – twice – and Paris Saint-Germain). José Mourinho is the only boss to beat Guardiola with four different teams, with the ‘Special One’ doing so while in charge of Inter, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Spurs.

However, Pochettino has lost more matches against Guardiola (13) than he has against any other manager across all competitions.

Ahead of kick-off, the Argentine’s main selection dilemma is in defence after Thiago Silva appeared to suffer a groin problem against Palace. With the EFL Cup final against Liverpool on the horizon, Pochettino may opt against risking the Brazilian at the Etihad Stadium, though first-choice goalkeeper Robert Sánchez is nearing a return after almost two months out with a knee injury. Reece James, Benoit Badiashile and Marc Cucurella remain long-term absentees.

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Manchester City vs Chelsea Head-to-Head

November’s thrilling 4-4 draw between the sides ended a run of 16 Premier League meetings between them without a stalemate. They last played out two draws in a single campaign in 2014-15.

Meanwhile, the most goals ever scored between City and Chelsea in a single Premier League season was the nine recorded in 2009-10, when City posted 2-1 and 4-2 victories against the eventual champions. That record looks to be under severe threat here.

Chelsea 4-4 Man City xG map

Indeed, Chelsea have only managed one clean sheet in their last 19 league games against City, with that shutout coming in a 2-0 home win under Maurizio Sarri in December 2018.

City, meanwhile, have won six of their last eight home league outings against the Blues. Julián Álvarez scored the only goal in this exact fixture last May, with Guardiola’s side lifting the Premier League trophy after that game.

Should Chelsea score twice on Saturday, they would make a piece of history, becoming the first team to ever net six league goals against a side managed by Guardiola in a single campaign.

Recent Form

City’s home form has been imperious of late, with the champions going unbeaten throughout their last 22 Premier League fixtures at the Etihad, winning 18 and drawing four.

Saturday’s hosts are also on the longest ongoing scoring run on home soil in the competition, netting in each of their last 44 matches at the Etihad Stadium and bringing up a mammoth tally of 135 goals in those games.

Overall, Man City have won their last six games in England’s top flight in a row, having only won one of their previous six (four draws, one defeat).

The last four of City’s victories have come in 2024, and they could now win their first five Premier League matches in a calendar year for just the second time, having previously started 2021 with 13 straight victories.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have posted back-to-back victories on the road in all competitions, having lost six of their previous seven on their travels (one win).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester City vs Chelsea Prediction

Manchester City vs Chelsea Prediction

While City and Chelsea have become accustomed to battling for major honours in recent years, City enter Saturday’s game as heavy favourites.

Indeed, the Opta supercomputer gives the champions a 64.0% chance of victory, with Chelsea only picking up three points in 13.6% of match simulations and 22.4% finishing all square.

In the Opta season predictions, Manchester City are now assigned a 64.6% chance of defending their domestic crown, ahead of Liverpool (25.5%) and Arsenal (9.7%). Following Aston Villa’s defeat to Tottenham on Matchday 24, no other team is assigned more than a 0.1% chance of topping the pile.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are expected to finish squarely in mid-table. They finish 10th in a league-high 22% of the supercomputer’s season simulations, only making the top seven in 15.4% of scenarios.

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