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Chelsea v Manchester City talking points

The teams meet at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Chelsea v Manchester City talking points

Champions Chelsea play early pace-setters Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the clash.

Battle of philosophies

Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola (Martin Rickett/PA)
Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola (Martin Rickett/PA)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is renowned for his no-compromise approach; style is as important as substance to the Catalan. It is certainly working this season. Chelsea’s approach has been easy on the eye and effective under Antonio Conte, too. The Italian says Chelsea must show the same “personality” no matter whether they are home or away or the opposition. After Wednesday’s win at Atletico Madrid, City will present another major test.

Fixture complaints

Conte says Chelsea are “penalised” by the schedule which has given City, who beat Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at home on Tuesday night, additional preparation time for the televised clash. It was a familiar complaint often aired by Jose Mourinho. But is that not part of the challenge of playing Champions League football and the squad game? Chelsea took full advantage of their absence from Europe last term to win the Premier League. Now the Blues must embrace this latest challenge. After all, they accept broadcasters’ millions.

Forward thinking

There are eagerly-anticipated clashes all over the pitch but the forward lines make for mouthwatering reading, even if City’s Sergio Aguero is ruled out following a car crash in Holland. Eden Hazard made just his second start of the season at Atletico, where his partnership with Alvaro Morata showed early signs of promise. Assuming they are fit after their exploits in Madrid, they can be Chelsea’s match-winners, while Gabriel Jesus for City has demonstrated his ability with six goals already this season and Raheem Sterling is in fine form.

Defensive resilience

David Luiz (Mike Egerton/PA)
David Luiz (Mike Egerton/PA)

Chelsea’s rearguard will be tested in David Luiz’s absence. The Brazil defender will complete his three-match suspension for his dismissal against Arsenal, so Antonio Rudiger or Andreas Christensen can be expected to start. City’s defence has long been derided and questioned. But they have conceded just twice in the Premier League this season and not at all so far in the top flight in September, giving them a goal difference of plus 19.