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Chelsea-Manchester City Preview
Pep Guardiola's considers Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel as "one of the few" managers he still learns from.
Guardiola's Manchester City play host to Tuchel and the Blues on Saturday in the standout match of the weekend's Premier League schedule.
City head into the game with a 10-point lead over second-placed Chelsea - only four times before have the Premier League leaders had a bigger lead over their nearest challengers after 21 matches.
On each of those occasions, the team with the lead has gone on to win the title, and victory over Chelsea could see City end the weekend with a 13-point advantage as long as Liverpool do not beat Brentford.
"He's so creative, one of the few managers I learn constantly from, to become a better manager myself," Guardiola said of Tuchel, who has won three of the last four meetings between the pair, including last season's Champions League final.
"Excellent in all departments. I enjoy since he was in Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, always I enjoy watching his teams and the way he's playing, the approach.
"I think he's dignified and he makes world of football better. When you find a manager who always wants to be positive in the way they play, it's good."
Tuchel, meanwhile, had plenty of praise for City, who are looking good to defend their crown.
"They are the benchmark, they are the best team in England right now. This is something we have to admit realistically," he said.
"We don't think a lot in the scenarios of 'what happens if?'. Let's play the game. I'm always in for a good fight, but I'm also very realistic. They're very strong, very consistent, and perform on the absolute highest level."
Manchester City - Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne has been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League games against Chelsea (three goals, one assist). Overall, he has netted four Premier League goals against his former side, with the playmaker only netting more against Arsenal in the competition (five).
Chelsea - Romelu Lukaku
After he was dropped for the draw with Liverpool, Romelu Lukaku has featured in Chelsea's last two games and the Blues will need a big performance from their record signing, who claimed he turned down an approach from City in 2020.
- Following their 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, Man City are looking to secure the Premier League double over Chelsea for the fourth time, previously doing so in 2009-10, 2015-16 and 2017-18.
- Chelsea won this exact fixture 2-1 last season, last winning consecutive away league games against Man City during a run of four between 2005 and 2008.
- This will be the 50th Premier League meeting between Man City and Chelsea; City won just three of their first 25 against Chelsea (D4 L18) but have since won 12 of the last 24 (D3 L9).
- City have won their last 11 Premier League games, their fifth such run of 11+ consecutive victories in the competition. Three of their previous four such runs have been ended in a home match - 1-2 vs West Ham in September 2015, 2-2 vs Spurs in August 2019 and 0-2 vs Man Utd in March 2021.
- Raheem Sterling has scored 49 Premier League goals at the Etihad Stadium, and could become the second player to reach 50 at the venue in the competition after Sergio Agüero (106).
Updated January 14, 2022