Chelsea take on table toppers City
CHELSEA’S Premier League title challenge to Manchester City has faded dramatically in recent weeks as Eden Hazard’s goals have dried up to leave Maurizio Sarri’s men 10 points adrift of the champions ahead of Saturday’s clash between the sides at Stamford Bridge.
Even in the midst of an 18-game unbeaten run after City eased past the Blues 2-0 in the Community Shield in August, Sarri insisted Chelsea wouldn’t be able to last the pace against a team he considers the best in Europe.
However, the Italian admitted his concern at the scale of his side’s downturn in recent weeks as defeats at Tottenham and then at Wolves where Chelsea capitulated from 1-0 up to lose 21 on Wednesday. Those losses as well as a goalless home draw with Everton mean Chelsea are hanging onto their top-four place only on goal difference.
“City are the best team in Europe, maybe the best in the world,” said Sarri. “Manchester City are in another category. We have to play and to fight to be in the top four.” It is no coincidence that Chelsea’s dip has coincided with Hazard’s early season hot streak cooling off.
The Belgian captain stood out as an
exception to many players suffering a World Cup hangover. After being crowned the second best player on show in Russia, Hazard scored seven goals in his first six league starts of the season.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard will look to regaining his form against Manchester City to help his side win.