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Big test ahead for Frank Lampard, Chelsea welcomes Manchester City

Chelsea’s last match for the 2020 saw The Blues fail to win against Aston Villa in a 1-1 draw. Manchester City last game was on Boxing Day with a comfortable victory 2-0 over Newcastle United.

Chelsea after a spending close to £200m last summer for challenging for the title will undoubtedly be under pressure after back-to-back games without win, 1-3 loss to Arsenal and 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are yet to demonstrate their value, but Chelsea’s goal creating abilities so far are very satisfactory being 3rd best with 31 goals, just 2 behind Manchester United and 6 less than Liverpool.

Chelsea could potentially break back into the three with a victory against Manchester City, who are the latest club to have been affected by COVID-19 cases.

Five players for Manchester City are unavailable for their Premier League match against Chelsea on Sunday following positive coronavirus tests. Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and three unnamed players are in isolation. “I don’t think the Premier League allow us to name the players”, Guardiola said. City’s game at Everton on 28 December was called off following the positive tests but the rest of the first-team has since tested negative. “We wanted to play but on the day of the game, with more cases, we informed the Premier League,” Guardiola said.

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech could make his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in early December against Leeds at Stamford Bridge. Reece James is definitely out. Mateo Kovacic return to the midfield in place of Jorginho is a possibility, while Giroud good from last game could see him challenge the starting spot of Tammy Abraham.

Following the midweek postponement against Everton should aid Pep’s squad in what is a busy schedule for Premier League clubs. Six teams occupy places between 5th and 10th, including Chelsea and City, with 26 points, but The Citizens have two games less played. A win in this game could see any of them raise to 3th place and close the gap with leaders Liverpool and Manchester United.

Expected Chelsea eleven:

Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Werner, Pulisic, Giroud

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