Chelsea Team News at Manchester City: Mendy, Chalobah, James

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For all intents and purposes, the Premier League title race probably ended last weekend, when Chelsea and Liverpool, the only two sides with a chance of catching Manchester City this season, played to a draw. It leaves City, who went unblemished in the festive fixture period, 10 points up on the Blues and 11 clear of Liverpool (who do have a game in hand though).

City hosts Chelsea to kick off the next round of fixtures, and a win here would pretty much make them champions-elect. A draw would probably put Chelsea on very thin ice too.

Chelsea FC at Manchester City FYIs

Kickoff: Sat Jan 15, 12:30, City of Manchester Stadium

Team News:  Man City   Chelsea

Starting XI Predictions:   Man City     Chelsea

Premier League Pod:  go here

Premier League Position:   Man City 1st, 53 pts    Chelsea 2nd, 43 pts

Premier League Form Guide:   Man City WWWWW     Chelsea DDWDD

Chelsea Team News

But what if Chelsea pull out the upset win? The margin cuts to 7 with 22 of 38 played. Maybe there’s still chance? First things first, and that starts with taking all three points here.

Number one Edouard Mendy is away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal and defender Trevoh Chalobah is out with a hamstring issue. Reece James, suffering from a problem with the same body part, will be out for a long while yet.

Throw in Ben Chilwell being out for the duration with that ACL injury, and we now have all of Stamford Bridge’s fitness concerns covered. It’s alarming for the Blues supporter though, all these absentees in the back line/goal when going up against the relentless, clinical attack of City.

Likely doesn’t bode well. Hey, at least they’re still alive in all three cup competitions this season.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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