Guardiola gives players rare day off in build up to crunch match
Manchester City vs Chelsea
Competition: F.A. Premier League
Date: 12.30pm, Saturday 3rd December 2016
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: S Burt, A Nunn Fourth Official: M Dean
Odds: City 11/10, Draw 5/2, Chelsea 5/2
Tickets: Sold out
TV: Sky Sports
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Squad (from): Bravo, Caballero, Gunn, Adarabioyo, Angelino, Clichy, Kolarov, Maffeo, Otamendi, Sagna, Stones, Zabaleta, De Bruyne, Delph, Fernandinho, Fernando, Garcia, Gundogan, Navas, Silva, Sane, Sterling, Toure, Aguero, Iheanacho, Nolito
Form guide: WWDWD
Manager: Antonio Conte
Squad (from): Begovic, Courtois, Eduardo, Ivanovic, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard, Matic, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro, Costa, Moses, Batshuayi, Kante, Aina, Chalobah, Solanke, Alonso, Luiz
Injured: Mikel, Terry
Form guide: WWWWW
Vincent Kompany is City's only absentee for the top of the table clash with Chelsea on Saturday. Fabian Delph is fit again, and John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan are available after being rested for the win at Burnley last weekend. Pep Guardiola also confirmed that he had given his players a day off earlier in the week, and having the rare luxury of no midweek fixture in the build-up to the game.
"We were 11, 12, 13 days without a day off," he said. "I like to give day off to the players when you have a lot of games in a row.
"That’s why we had two days off and we were training three days, to prepare, not only for the game against Chelsea, but the next ones too.
"We like to play football and we like to play games, that’s why we’re here.
"But sometimes when we have four or five or six months playing, playing, playing sometimes it’s good [time off] for the players, the staff, for physios everybody. It was good."
City's last home game against Chelsea ended in a 3-0 victory at the start of the 2015/16 season, with Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho scoring for the Blues. Overall City have won 52 of the 155 games played against Chelsea, with 39 draws and 64 defeats.
Predicted line-up: Bravo, Sagna, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero
Score prediction: City 1 Chelsea 1