EPL - Manchester City v Chelsea

Image copyright: Getty Images

2023/24 English Premier League
Matchday 25
Manchester City v Chelsea
Etihad Stadium
Manchester, England
Saturday, 17 February 2024
Kick-off is at 18h30 
Defending champions Manchester City will look to keep the pressure on the Premier League leaders when they host Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, February 17 in the late kick-off.
The Citizens have gotten back to business after their Club World Cup success in December, with a 2-0 triumph at home to Everton on February 10 making it six league wins on the spin.
Pep Guardiola's side remained ahead of Arsenal in second place on goals scored, having seen the Gunners thrash West Ham 6-0 at the London Stadium on February 11 to join them on a plus-31 goal difference.
Liverpool maintained a two-point lead over their title rivals after beating Burnley 3-1 at Anfield, while Tottenham went back above Aston Villa into fourth spot thanks to a 2-1 win over Brighton in the capital.
The Blues dropped out of the top 10 following back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Wolves, having won their previous three games in a row.
Mauricio Pochettino's side trail Wolves (10th) by just one point in 11th position ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace on February 12 and could go above wanderers with victory in that London derby.
Fulham are breathing down their necks in 12th place after arresting a three-match winless run with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at Craven Cottage on February 10.

Erling Haaland
Image copyright: Getty Images
In team news, Guardiola has a fully-fit squad to choose from after his players came through the encounter with the Toffees unscathed. Pochettino isn't as lucky as he has numerous injuries to contend with. Wesley Fofana (knee), Reece James, Romeo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu (all thigh), Marc Cucurella (ankle) and Benoit Badiashile (groin) remain unavailable for selection.
Guardiola admitted he loved the challenge presented to his players by Everton and was pleased with how the responded in the second half after struggling to put a cohesive performance together in the opening 45 minutes.
"I love to win this type of game," the Spaniard said. "The difficulty is there, we knew it. Everton at home is always complicated. We lost a lot of points over the years.
"What I am happy with the most was the shape and the body language in the second half was much better. The first half we were complaining. 12:30 kick-off is more difficult, but the body language was not good. 
"The chemistry between the players, we have to better, in the second half we were better. I like to win these games suffering. How difficult it is in the Premier League. Nothing is for granted."

Thiago Silva of ChelseaImage copyright: Getty Images
Pochettino insists both he and the players need to take responsibility for the poor performance against Wolves and has urged them to continue searching for the best version of themselves.
"I am the first one responsible for this situation, and on what we showed today we are not got enough. We didn't manage the situation properly and of course no-one can be safe," the Argentine said.
"We are all responsible, but also the players. The players need to take responsibility like I do. At the moment we are not matching the history of the club and we need to accept that.
"We need to be critical but we cannot give up. Of course we are going to keep working really hard to try to change the results. If it is not working in this way maybe we need to move on and try to find different solutions."

Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)

Matches - 5
Man City - 4
Chelsea - 0
Draws - 1

Premier League Matchday 25 fixtures:

Saturday, February 17
13h30: Brentford v Liverpool
16h00: Burnley v Arsenal
16h00: Fulham v Aston Villa
16h00: Newcastle United v Bournemouth
16h00: Nottingham Forest v West Ham United
16h00: Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers
18h30: Manchester City v Chelsea
Sunday, February 18
15h00: Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion
17h30: Luton Town v Manchester United
Monday, February 19
21h00: Everton v Crystal Palace

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Published: 02/15/2024