Chelsea host Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in Football FanCast’s Fixture in Focus.
The current league standings tell you all you need to know about how high-quality an affair it should be in west London, but the ever-decreasing gap at the top of the Premier League table and the presence of world-class managers in both dugouts further adds to what is set to be a thrilling and intoxicating encounter.
There really isn’t that much difference between the two teams in terms of quality – so we asked Manchester City fans earlier this week to vote for which Chelsea stars they’d like Pep Guardiola to pinch from Wednesday’s opposition in the summer transfer window.
The results of our exclusive poll are now in – here’s a rundown of the top three…
The goalkeeping department has been a problem for Manchester City all season, with Joe Hart exiled to Torino, Claudio Bravo struggling to prove an adequate replacement and Willy Caballero emerging as an unlikely hero in recent weeks.
That’s clearly playing on the minds of our Citizens readers, who voted Thibaut Courtois into third place. We’re not sure if he’s the right goalkeeper to meet Guardiola’s demands of playing it out of the back, but he’s kept the most clean sheets of any Premier League glovesman this term, 13, and has been remarkably consistent throughout the campaign.
We’re certainly not shocked to see Eden Hazard make the top three but a little surprised that he didn’t take pole position. After a disastrous 2015/16 season, the Belgium international has rediscovered his best form this season and even if his output hasn’t been exactly groundbreaking – 11 goals and five assists – he’s provided the cutting edge in countless Chelsea wins. Real Madrid are reportedly prepared to pay £100million to sign him this summer, but there’s one Blues star City fans want more…
He’s on course to become the first player to win the Premier League title in consecutive seasons with different clubs and City fans seemingly want N’Golo Kante to make it three-in-a-row at the Etihad Stadium next season. The Frenchman may not be a natural to the Guardiola philosophy but it’s impossible to dispute how effective he’s been in the middle of the park since arriving in England with Leicester City, one of the real driving forces at the King Power Stadium last season and now one of the first names on the Chelsea team-sheet. Kante’s incredible rise is showing no signs of letting up.