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Man City handed boost ahead of Chelsea as key trio spotted with traveling squad

Man City handed boost ahead of Chelsea as key trio spotted with traveling squad

Man City receive boost to the spine

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly be pleased with key trio Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, and John Stones all seemingly being fit and available for when his side clashes with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in one of Saturday’s two lunchtime kick-offs.

City already trail domestic rivals Manchester United, Liverpool, and Thomas Tuchel’s Blues by three points heading into the weekend, and the top of the table six-pointer could have massive ramifications for the title race in the 2021-22 domestic campaign.

Both Rodri and Laporte coming back into the fold after the pair missed the draw against Southampton and then 6-1 drubbing of Wycombe Wanderers in the third round of the Carabao Cup could not come at a more opportune moment, given Saturday’s opponent.

Man City handed boost ahead of Chelsea as key trio spotted with traveling squad

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 27: Ruben Dias of Manchester City celebrates with teammate John Stones after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on February 27, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt McNulty/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

While John Stones is not expected to start ahead of Rúben Dias, the restoration of depth to the overall Man City squad remains of vital importance given the upcoming midweek Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain, and then an equally vital Premier League meeting with Liverpool.

Missing key assets leave questions in the potential XI

With additions come squad subtractions for Man City this weekend, however, as both German international Ilkay Gündogan and Ukrainian utility man Oleksandr Zinchenko were not spotted in the squad that begun its journey to the English capital.

Gündogan remains as vital as ever for City this season, after his goalscoring exploits in 2020-21 helped the Citizens take back their Premier League crown, while Zinchenko’s absence all but guarantees João Cancelo’s starting berth at left-back. Kyle Walker should slot in on the opposite flank.

How could Man City line-up to give themselves the best chance to dent Chelsea’s confidence under their German tinkerman? Here is a guess at their match day XI for the Stamford Bridge meeting.

Man City handed boost ahead of Chelsea as key trio spotted with traveling squad


This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 7 12 16
2 Liverpool FC 7 11 15
3 Manchester City 7 11 14
4 Manchester United 7 8 14
5 Everton FC 7 5 14
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 7 3 14
7 Brentford FC 7 4 12
8 Tottenham Hotspur 7 -4 12
9 West Ham United 7 4 11
10 Aston Villa 7 1 10
11 Arsenal FC 7 -5 10
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 -1 9
13 Leicester City 7 -3 8
14 Crystal Palace 7 -3 7
15 Watford FC 7 -3 7
16 Leeds United 7 -7 6
17 Southampton FC 7 -5 4
18 Burnley FC 7 -6 3
19 Newcastle United 7 -8 3
20 Norwich City 7 -14 1

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 7
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 4
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 3
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 3
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 3
Hwang, Hee-chan Wolverhampton Wanderers 3
Raphinha Leeds United 3