Chelsea and Manchester City face off in the first clash between the traditional top six sides of 2021 from sixth and eight place respectively.
Chelsea host Manchester City on Sunday evening as two of the best performing Premier League clubs from the last decade face off at the Stamford Bridge. The Blues head into this fixture at the back of four winless results out of five and will be desperate to turn a corner whilst getting the New Year underway on a positive note.
Frank Lampard is without the services of Hakim Ziyech and Reece James for this outing as they continue to recover from injuries. The manager is however able to call upon most of his new signings who he hopes can come to good use versus Pep Guardiola.
Edouard Mendy has conceded four times in his last two league appearances for Chelsea but will get the nod ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga in the starting eleven. Cesar Azpilicueta will fill in at right-back whereas Ben Chilwell will also continue playing as the left-back.
Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva have not been at their best in recent weeks but they must deliver when Chelsea welcome Manchester City. The duo is set to continue in the heart of the backline as Lampard’s other options continue to underdeliver as well.
N’Golo Kante has scored two in his last four matches against City, but his duties will be entirely different as he will be up against Kevin De Bruyne from defensive midfield. Mateo Kovacic will be a box-to-box midfielder Chelsea need for a game such as this so he will start too, as will Mason Mount, one of the regular fixtures in the squad.
Christian Pulisic scored a lovely solo goal the last time these two sides met and he will be handed a start on the right wing. Timo Werner is set to deputize the left flank as he hopes for a return onto the scoresheet as he suffers one of his longest barren runs ever.
Tammy Abraham has scored thrice in his last two starts for Chelsea and will once again get the nod over Olivier Giroud. He will have to dominate aerially against rock-solid City defenders in Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias to make a difference.
Can the west Londoners bag all three points against the Mancunians for the second time running?