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Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday

Pep Guardiola will have given his Manchester City side every chance of being fully prepared for Saturday's clash with Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola, wary of the added demands of Champions League football compared to title rivals Chelsea and Liverpool, who aren't playing in Europe this season, has been resting his players for certain games of late and this week gave the whole squad Monday and Tuesday off training.

City have dropped six points by drawing their last three home games and Guardiola will want his players to be in top condition for the visit of Antonio Conte's table-topping Blues.


MAN CITY INJURIES


Guardiola will be hopeful that Raheem Sterling will shake off the blow that forced him out of last weekend's 2-1 win at Burnley. The youngster had a heavy limp as he came through the post-match interview area but trained with the rest of the squad on Wednesday.

Pablo Zabaleta has missed City's recent games and will be vying to win back his place at right-back.

Vincent Kompany, who will be out until the New Year with knee ligament damage, and Fabian Delph, who is recovering from groin surgery, will both miss out.


MAN CITY SUSPENSIONS


Manchester City have no suspensions to worry about, although Aleksandar Kolarov and Nicolas Otamendi are on four yellow cards and their next one will result in a one-match suspension. Fernandinho, Nolito and Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling each have three bookings, and will have to tread carefully in the coming weeks.

Chelsea have no suspensions, although Diego Costa is on four bookings.


MAN CITY POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


If Sterling does overcome his knock then Guardiola will have essentially a full-strength side available to him. The City boss kept Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva on the bench last weekend and left John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan out altogether, just as he did the week before at Crystal Palace.

Guardiola will look to create overloads in midfield as ever, but may be wary about leaving three men back in defence to do so, as he has pointed out that he will not use a back three against teams who attack with pacy wide men, as Chelsea will.

Having rested his main creative midfielders recently, and with the option to rotate his side completely for Tuesday's game against Celtic, he will most surely go all out for victory against Chelsea.

Given Conte has named an unchanged line-up for six consecutive games, Guardiola will have had plenty of opportunities to work out their particular strengths and weaknesses.

Should the visitors line up in their now customary back three, Guardiola may even be tempted to use Leroy Sane as a more direct, wide threat, although it may be too big a game for the German youngster, who has struggled to make an impact on his new side.


CHELSEA DOSSIER


Antonio Conte's switch to a back three has produced more obvious positive results than Guardiola's attempts at City: Christian Eriksen's goal for Spurs last weekend was the first Chelsea had conceded in seven Premier League games. 

Since losing back-to-back games against Liverpool and Arsenal in convincing fashion, the Blues have risen to the top of the table on the back of seven consecutive wins and they will arrive in Manchester full of confidence.

Their upturn in fortunes has been credited to Conte's tactical switch, and it will be fascinating to see how Guardiola attempts to combat it.

Chelsea have no major injury concerns, either. John Terry is out, while Kurt Zouma may be in contention for a place on the bench but is unlikely to usurp any of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, who have shone in recent weeks.

Jon Mikel Obi is also ruled out but Nemanja Matic and N'Golo Kante have been doing just fine at the heart of Conte's midfield.

Guardiola may not like to admit it but City's defence have looked shaky in recent weeks, and they will have their work cut out against Conte's front three of Diego Costa, Pedro and Eden Hazard. 

Those three could decide the game, given City have failed to stop their opponents scoring in just three of their 20 games in the Premier League, League Cup and Champions League proper.


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • Chelsea have collected just two points from their last four league games against City (D2 L2), which is their current longest winless streak against them in the competition’s history (four games).

  • Pep Guardiola could become just the second Manchester City manager in the Premier League era to win his first meeting with Chelsea, following Roberto Mancini in 2009/10 (the Italian is the only one among Man City’s previous 10 managers in the competition to have done so).

  • Chelsea have won 11 games away at Manchester City in the Premier League; their most against a team away from home in the competition’s history.

  • Sergio Aguero has scored four times in his last two Premier League games against Chelsea, including a hat-trick in his last league meeting against the Blues.

  • Chelsea; who have named an unchanged line-up for six matches in a row, have made fewer changes to their starting XI than any other top-flight side this season (7), while Man City have made a league-high 40 changes overall.


TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME


The game kicks off at 12:3- UK time on Saturday, December 3, and is being shown on Sky Sports 1.

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