Chelsea - Manchester City preview: Citizens hopeful of maintaining Champions League spot with win

Off the back of a thrilling midweek performance, focus once again returns to the Premier League as Guus Hiddink's resurgent Chelsea lie in wait.

Chelsea - Manchester City preview: Citizens hopeful of maintaining Champions League spot with win
Picture source: Getty Images

Having calmed down from Tuesday's drama and the Champions League semi-final draw on Friday, the sky Blues travel to West London to take on a Chelsea side that has somewhat regained stability since the timely intervention of interim manager, Guus Hiddink.

Manchester City 

Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that City will be without captain Vincent Kompany, Raheem Sterling and David Silva for this weekend's trip however is optimistic that they will be on course for Tuesday's fixture in the North East, away to Newcastle United. The rest of the squad are in good health meanwhile.

Chelsea

John Terry, Eden Hazard and Löic Remy will all be absent for the clash with calf, thigh and groin strains respectively. On the other hand Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill have both returned to full fitness and will be available for selection.

What they're saying

Manuel Pellegrini made it clear that City won't be distracted by the Champions League or prioritise it over the league and vice-versa saying: "I am not going to prioritise any competition. We don't need to prioritise because we are going to play these three games before we return to the Champions League."

Guus Hiddink on the other hand, is very weary of how City's performance in midweek will have affected them saying that Saturday's visitors are "getting into a certain flow of success", so they'll naturally "like to continue it". 

"It's encouraging for them and for us it is another reason why we expect very strong opposition."

Verdict 

Since the appointment of Guus Hiddink, Chelsea have somewhat turned their season around steadily clawing their way up the Premier League table and being only eight points off of 6th place with a game in hand - there's distant hope yet. I don't expect to see either side being blown away here like the 5-1 FA Cup victory for Chelsea or the 3-0 at the Etihad for City, instead it'll be a much tighter affair with both defences improving. However, the form of Kevin de Bruyne since returning from two months on the sidelines has been superb and could prove the deciding factor in this clash having scored three times since returning from two months out with a knee injury.