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Man City should be full of fire against Chelsea

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Chelsea were the first team to beat Manchester City in this season's Premier League but the champions can get their revenge and lay down a marker before the teams meet again in the Carabao Cup final in a fortnight.

City boss Pep Guardiola has referred to this game as being like a cup final with the Manchester men involved in a tight title tussle, and Chelsea could struggle to match the intensity of the Etihad hosts, who have triumphed in 18 of their 20 home fixtures this season.

Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero were missing when City were beaten 2-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge in December, a strange game in which Chelsea were under pressure until they scored with their first shot just before half-time.

It means Guardiola has lost three times against Chelsea in the league, making the Londoners his biggest bogey side. But Blues boss Maurizio Sarri referred to it as a lucky win and they may well need good fortune on their side in this contest with City having scored at least twice in all bar one of their matches at the Etihad this season.

At their best City tend to come out all guns blazing and they have led at the break in 18 of their 20 Premier League wins, which could become 19 of 21 following Chelsea's visit.

Sarri has bemoaned Chelsea's lack of motivation at various stages and usually those lackadaisical performances come when they go away, most recently on their last road trip which ended in a shambolic 4-0 battering at Bournemouth.

It was Chelsea's third straight loss to nil on their travels, while they have also come up short in some big away fixtures due to slow starts.

They were 2-0 down by the break at Arsenal and it was the same at Spurs when Tottenham raced into a two-goal advantage after just 16 minutes.

Chelsea possess quality in the final third with Eden Hazard supplying Gonzalo Higuain, who broke his duck with a double in the 5-0 stroll over Huddersfield last week.

However, City didn't give Everton a sniff of Ederson's goal in their 2-0 win at Goodison Park on Wednesday and they can be relentless when they are on a roll.

Sergio Aguero highlighted his devastating firepower with a hat-trick against Arsenal and Guardiola has been at pains to point to the outstanding form of Bernardo Silva.

Raheem Sterling and De Bruyne were rested at Everton and there should be enough recovery time for City to continue to turn the screw on Liverpool.

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Match in Focus

17:30 TODAY BT1

Leicester v C Palace

Home WinDrawAway Win
Key stats
  • Palace have won their last three meetings with Leicester by an aggregate of 9-0.
Expert verdict
Crystal Palace boast a fine recent record against Leicester and should continue their dominance. The Eagles have fought their way up to 13th while Leicester are fading fast, taking just one point from the last 15 on offer – everything points to another Palace defeat of the Foxes.