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Manchester City will return to action on Sunday after their clash with Everton was postponed on December 28.

They face Chelsea, their ‘Big Six’ rival, a game set to go ahead despite the Premier League’s cancellation of their previous match at Goodison Park due to the COVID-19 outbreak at the club.

Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker both gave positive results on Christmas Day, while three more cases were confirmed on the night of their match with Everton. However, with the latest round of testing coming back negative, it now looks like the edit will go as planned.

And for City, there will be plenty of motivation tinder after the loss at Stamford Bridge last season that saw them relinquish the title, with Fernandinho’s red card ultimately serving as the final nail in the coffin of a disappointing campaign.

Revenge will undoubtedly be at the forefront of their minds, as Chelsea – having won just one of their last six games – will look to ease the growing pressure on manager Frank Lampard with a home win over City for the third consecutive season.

Here is 90 minsgame preview.

When does the kick-off take place? Sunday January 3
What time is the kick-off? 4.30 p.m. (GMT)
Where is it played? stamford bridge
TV channel / live broadcast? Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports PL
Arbitrator? Anthony Taylor

Hakim Ziyech will be assessed by Chelsea after a hamstring injury against Leeds United ruled him out for the remainder of December, while Reece James is also in the running to return after suffering hamstring strain during of the defeat against Arsenal. Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva are expected to be reinstated in the starting XI after being rested in the draw with Aston Villa.

Hakim Ziyech
Ziyech examines his options against Sevilla | Quality sports images / Getty Images

As for City, Jesus and Walker will both self-isolate after testing positive, but it is possible that Eric Garcia will be welcomed back into the squad after suffering a muscle problem in the win over Marseille on the 9th. December. Sergio Aguero may also come back to the side after appearing on the bench in the win over Newcastle United.

Chelsea: Mendy; Chilwell, Silva, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Mount, Kante, Kovacic; Werner, Abraham, Pulisic

Manchester City: Ederson; Zinchenko, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, Gundogan; Sterling, De Bruyne, B. Silva; Aguero

Chelsea’s hesitant title challenge suffered another setback on Monday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.

That only made one victory out of six in all competitions; The £ 200million summer investment has apparently not yet materialized in the progress many expected after qualifying for the Champions League last season.

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz – two landmark summer signings – are still acclimating to their new surroundings, while Edouard Mendy, another costly addition, has made a few big mistakes in recent times, even though the Chelsea defense – in overall – has looked much safer with the arrival of Thiago Silva this season.

Daniel Podence, Édouard Mendy
Mendy concedes to his close post against the wolves | Michael Steele / Getty Images

The same could be said of City, but they didn’t need a serial winner to join the overseas. Apparently all they needed was John Stones, who has established himself since his reinstatement in the camp and has formed a formidable partnership with Ruben Dias.

Keeping a clean sheet in each of his last six games, he has helped provide the platform for City’s 10-game unbeaten streak, a race that has largely gone under the radar. Granted, they remain 8th and are still not at their best going forward, but with two games underway against some of the teams around them, City are closer to the top than the table would suggest.

Chelsea

Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa (12/28)
Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea (12/26)
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham (12/21)
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Chelsea (12/15)
Everton 1-0 Chelsea (12/12)

Manchester city

Manchester city 2-0 Newcastle (12/26)
Arsenal 1-4 Manchester city (22/12)
Southampton 0-1 Manchester city (19/12)
Manchester city 1-1 West Bromwich Albion (15/12)
Manchester United 0-0 Manchester city (12/12)

Two strong defenses, two similar formations and a stuttering attack: this could be a tough watch.

If Pep Guardiola’s men are to rediscover their goal mojo, it is unlikely to be against a Chelsea side that have tended to take a decidedly safety-oriented approach in matches against other members of the Big Six. ”. They drew 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, games in which Lampard’s priority was clear: defense.

That said, if he is indeed fit enough to start, City will have to watch out for Chelsea chief designer Hakim Ziyech, whose absence has been keenly felt in recent weeks. Her ability to create space where there isn’t one could be vital in what appears to be such a compelling business.

Prediction: Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City

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