Man City vs Chelsea – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Sunday 21st May 2023
16:00 GMT
Etihad Stadium

As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Chelsea visit to the champions. City have wrapped up the league – can they sign off at the Etihad in style? Free betting tips and more with our Man City vs Chelsea prediction.

Man City


3-0 (A)

West Ham

3-0 (H)


2-1 (H)


4-1 (H)


3-1 (H)


Nottingham Forest

2-2 (H)


3-1 (A)


3-1 (A)


2-0 (H)


2-1 (H)

Man City vs Chelsea Preview

As of writing, Nottingham Forest have just beaten Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday evening. Not only does this secure Forest’s status as a Premier League team next season, but it confirms Man City as champions for the third year in a row and fifth season from six. It’s fair to say that, under Pep Guardiola, City have been the dominant force in English football (with some good resistance from Liverpool). City are known for being strong at the end of the season and putting together long winning runs. This year isn’t an exception, as they have won 16 consecutive home matches in 2023.

Indeed, City have also qualified for the FA Cup Final (against rivals Man Utd) and the Champions League Final (against Inter Milan). Hence, a historic treble and the chance to match United’s 1999 feat is on the horizon. The first part is complete now, with them being named champions. The other two components look good, too, as they will be massive favourites in both finals. Indeed, how they dismantled Real Madrid 4-0 in midweek will send shivers down United and Inter’s spines. City seem unstoppable at the moment, and with three league games to come, Pep Guardiola can choose to rest his players or keep going to maintain momentum.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chelsea have had a terrible season. It has been their worst season in decades in terms of position, and they have struggled to score goals this year, too, their attack looking blunt and impotent. They have only won one of their last eleven games (all competitions), the most recent result being a draw against Forest last weekend. With three managers gone through (Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter, and now Frank Lampard, albeit temporarily in the latter case), they are as unstable as ever.

The omens do not look good for this game; City have won their previous 11 league games, scoring 32 goals in that run, and have kept a clean sheet in their last five games against Chelsea (all competitions). Chelsea have also lost their previous three trips to the Etihad, including being hammered 4-0 in the FA Cup in January. Hence, Chelsea will likely make the trip north with justified trepidation.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions

Man City:

Might Not Play:

Will Not Play: Ake


Might Not Play: Kovacic

Will Not Play: Badiashile, Chilwell, James, Cucurella, Kante, Koulibaly, Mount, Broja

Man City vs Chelsea Lineups (Predicted)

Man City (3-2-4-1 / 4-2-3-1): Ederson; Laporte, Dias, Akanji; Rodri, Stones; Foden, Alvarez, De Bruyne, Mahrez; Haaland

Chelsea (4-3-3): Mendy; Hall, Fofana, Silva, Chalobah; Fernandez, Gallagher, Loftus-Cheek; Sterling, Felix, Madueke

Man City vs Chelsea Lineup
Chelsea vs Man City Lineup

Man City vs Chelsea Analysis

Man City Are Crowned Champions, So It Is Difficult To Predict Their Starting Lineup Here

With City champions, there is much uncertainty about the side Guardiola will field against Chelsea. After all, the Spaniard is a notorious tinkerer. Now that nothing is riding on the final three league games, he may be tempted to rest his players, with the two finals and a potential treble to come. However, this can be a balancing act – don’t rest players; you risk fatigue and injury. Alternatively, leave out too many, and the first-choice players may lose focus or be out of step come the finals.

We have predicted a side that will likely have a few changes, notably in the line of four behind Haaland. We see Foden and Mahrez coming in on the flanks to replace Grealish and Bernardo Silva (who both started against Real Madrid midweek). The City system does not change – the 3-2-4-1 relies on no full-backs, with a back three defending and Akanji and Laporte defending the sides while being supported by Foden and Mahrez being diligent in performing their defensive duties. Stones can also drop from midfield. De Bruyne and the incoming Alvarez can be attacking midfielders and playmakers supplying Haaland. Rodri, as ever, will set the tone from the holding midfield position.

This very successful set-up maximises City’s attacking output and shields against counters. Unless Guardiola decides to alter his personnel and formation due to the circumstances, we see him implementing it again.

Chelsea Have Had A Very Disappointing Season And Are Massive Underdogs In This Game

Simply put, it has been an awful season for Chelsea, with personnel and managerial changes galore. In this third-from-last game of their season, they will want to try to upset Man City’s party and at least impact proceedings. The Blues have plenty of players out injured, but we see them trying to be compact and organised, setting up in a low block and trying to deny City space. Depending on the strength of the side City send out (an unknown quantity), they will likely dominate the ball for most of the game. Hence, Chelsea will play on the counter.

The Chelsea defenders must stay close to each other and in contact with the midfielders too. They must get blocks and interceptions in and look out for the trickiness, passing and dribbling of players such as Alvarez, De Bruyne, Mahrez and Foden. If the ball comes into the Chelsea midfield, Fernandez, Gallagher and Loftus-Cheek must try to retain it. If they continually lose it or get run past, this will enable City to exert constant pressure.

Walker might be rested for City, so ex-City boy Sterling might get more joy on the left when Chelsea can get the ball forward. Walker is a quick and dependable defensive asset in the City right-back position; hence his potential absence could be felt. Sterling and Madueke must use their pace and dribbling to try to create and come inside to get shots off. Felix will try to use his quick feet, close control and passing to make something happen too. Chelsea’s best bet might be direct transitions and magic moments while keeping the door shut at the back.

Our Prediction

Neither team really has anything to play for. Chelsea are safe and want this campaign over as soon as possible, being able to finish no higher than 11th, their lowest position since 1996. City, alternatively, are in a party mood. With the cup finals against rivals Man Utd and Italian club Inter Milan on the horizon, they might rest some players. Pep might be professional, though, and play a strong side.

The outcome will likely be a comprehensive and routine win for City. They’re a much better team than Chelsea, and the distance between Guardiola and Lampard as coaches is even more significant than the respective performance levels of the sides. Chelsea may surprise us all, but we see City winning by two, three or four goals and putting the icing on the cake of their title-winning weekend.

Man City 3-0 Chelsea

Man City vs Chelsea Betting Tip – Man City -1 (win by 2 goals or more) Odds:


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