Chelsea team news: Predicted XI vs Man City as Pochettino tweaks his attack | Football | Sport

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Chelsea will be looking to continue their improved run of form when they travel to face Manchester City tonight (5.30pm). The Blues have won back-to-back away matches, having followed up their impressive FA Cup triumph against Aston Villa with a come-from-behind victory against Crystal Palace on Monday night. But they face a daunting task with City unbeaten in the league since December 6. Express Sport looks at how Mauricio Pochettino’s men could line up for the crunch clash…

Goalkeeper: Dorde Petrovic

For the first time in a while, Chelsea boss Pochettino has a decision to make between the sticks. Robert Sanchez has been sidelined through injury, with Dorde Petrovic deputising for the former Brighton & Hove Albion man. Sanchez is available for selection once again, but given Petrovic’s solid enough performances, the Serbian should be handed the gloves.

Defence: Chilwell, Colwill, Disasi, Gusto

In sharp contrast, Pochettino is limited in who he can select for his backline, with Thiago Silva the latest Chelsea player in the treatment room. As a result, expect Levi Colwill to retain his spot in the centre of defence, with Axel Disasi coming in to replace Silva.

It’s unlikely there will be any changes to the full-back positions though, with Ben Chilwell and Malo Gusto having started Chelsea’s last three matches across all competitions. That is in part down to injuries to Reece James and Marc Cucurella, who aren’t expected to be involved on Saturday evening.

Midfield: Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher

It’s been a problem area all season for Chelsea, but there have been positive signs in recent weeks that the Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez double-pivot might be paying off. Fernandez has scored two goals in his last two Chelsea outings, with the Argentine appearing to thrive in his new-found position higher up the pitch.

The pair will likely remain in the starting 11 for the clash against the European champions, with Conor Gallagher snatching the last space in the midfield. Gallagher netted twice against Crystal Palace – including the last-gasp winner – with the Englishman continuing to prove his worth to the Chelsea hierarchy.

Attack: Nkunku, Jackson, Palmer

Whisper it quietly, but Chelsea might’ve stumbled across a functional front three. With the introduction of Christopher Nkunku into the side, fellow summer arrival Nicolas Jackson looks to be getting the service he needs to thrive up front for the Blues.

And as for Cole Palmer, the £40million signing returns to the Etihad Stadium with something of a point to prove. Palmer was allowed to leave City in the summer, and the English international is no doubt hoping to show Pep Guardiola and co. what they’re missing out on with another stellar performance in attack. Ex-City attacker Raheem Sterling will be on the bench.

Predicted Chelsea XI vs Manchester City in full: Petrovic; Chilwell, Colwill, Disasi, Gusto; Caicedo, Fernandez, Gallagher; Nkunku, Jackson, Palmer

Changes from Chelsea’s Crystal Palace win
Axel Disasi for Thiago Silva
Christopher Nkunku for Noni Madueke


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