Manchester City vs Chelsea: Three key players to look out for

The Hard Tackle lists three players who can make a positive impact when Manchester City and Chelsea lock horns on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Premier League season continues this weekend with Gameweek 25. Manchester City and Chelsea will clash in the marquee fixture of the latest round of fixtures on Saturday evening.

Manchester City will be the odds-on favourite to win every competition until the end of the 2023/24 season. The treble winners blew hot and cold in the early stages of the campaign but have bounced back in the last few months and have won nearly every game since December.

On the other hand, Chelsea’s inconsistencies are showing no signs of consistency. The change of guard on the managerial front has not done anything to ensure an upturn in fortunes, with the Blues retaining their blow-hot-blow-cold ways. But they head into this weekend’s game on the back of a top-notch win over Crystal Palace.

The two teams played an enthralling stalemate in the reverse fixture, and another outing might be on the cards at the Etihad. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle picks three players who should play their part in earning their teams a point of three on Saturday.

Erling Haaland

The first candidate to kick-start the list is the obvious one. We have gone ahead with Erling Haaland, who has regained his form and shown positive signs to get back to his prolific best in the business end of the 2023/24 season.

The Norwegian international missed several weeks due to a stress-related injury and would have been itching to return to the pitch at the first possible instance. He eased into the thick of the action in recent weeks and has got his scoring boots back.

Haaland scored a match-winning brace last weekend as Manchester City beat Everton. He also provided an assist to Phil Foden in the game against Brentford two weeks ago. So, the Real Madrid target will be the main threat for Chelsea this weekend as the Blues look to steer clear of the danger for elongated periods.

Will Haaland make his mark? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Conor Gallagher

As is often the case in such features, we have picked two players from the team with lower odds to win the game. And the first candidate from Chelsea is Conor Gallagher, who proved his naysayers wrong earlier this week.

The English international, who remains on Tottenham’s radar over a possible move in the summer transfer window, scored a brace as Chelsea came from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace 3-1 with two injury-time strikes.

While Gallagher might not score against Manchester City, his work rate and attitude in the middle of the park will be critical for Chelsea to keep the home side at bay for long periods. In addition, his ghosting runs will put the vulnerable Manchester City defence under pressure. So, Gallagher’s performance should hold the key for the visitors this weekend.

Cole Palmer

Our list ends with another Chelsea attacker, with this player adding spice to the equation due to his history with Manchester City. We are talking about Cole Palmer, who joined Chelsea from Manchester City in the summer transfer window.

The Englishman has taken no time to become a pivotal figure for Chelsea. He is the top scorer for the West London club this season and the only player to reach double figures for goals thus far. In addition, Palmer has provided nine assists, taking his G+A tally to over 20.

Meanwhile, the 21-year-old also has an excellent shot accuracy rate of 62%, making him a potent threat for Manchester City. And after finding the back of the net in the reverse fixture, Palmer will be eager to do a repeat on Saturday and guide Chelsea to a famous win over Manchester City.

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