Chelsea must forget about their previous meeting with Manchester City, as they face each other again in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The last time the Blues faced City, the side from Stamford Bridge were battered 6-0 this weekend’s opposition in the Premier League and things haven’t gone much better since.
However, with the first piece of silverware of the season up for grabs, and maybe the only realistic chance of lifting a trophy for Chelsea, they must forget about recent struggles if they want to have a successful campaign under Maurizio Sarri.
Ahead of the final, we have looked at players’ individual Premier League average match ratings, courtesy of WhoScored.com to devise our own combined team.
Goalkeeper: Ederson (Manchester City) 6.66
Ederson is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in the league and is in close contention for the Golden Glove award. The ability to start from the back is key, as the Brazilian has barely put a foot wrong since joining the club at the start of last season.
In 26 league appearances this season, Ederson has 21 wins to his name, 12 of those ending in clean sheets. This is one more than Kepa Arrizabalaga (11) and second only to Liverpool’s Alisson (14).
Centre-back: Kyle Walker (Manchester City) 6.98
Kyle Walker has been a valuable member of the side ever since he joined City from Tottenham Hotspur. His ability to play in a back four or five has displayed his versatility in City’s talent-ridden squad.
The full-back’s attacking prowess has never been in doubt. The 28-year-old has attempted 23 dribbles over the course of 23 league games, which is more than Chelsea’s vice-captain César Azpilicueta, who has attempted 18 in 26 appearances.
Centre-back: David Luiz (Chelsea) 7.13
David Luiz has been at the forefront of the backline since the arrival of Sarri, but that hasn’t come without criticism. He has however remained a mainstay in the side with his undeniable talent and character pivotal in turning things around at the club.
Although the back four has come under scrutiny, his game has undoubtedly improved as the season has gone on. The defensive-minded playmaker has attempted a total of 1,956 passes in the back line, which is 496 more than his City counterpart, John Stones (1,460).
Centre-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) 7.09
Marcos Alonso is likely to start as the Blues aim to push for cup final victory, despite his role in the first-team being under threat after the performances from Emerson against Spurs in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and against Malmo in the Europa League.
The attacking full-back, who is a make-shift centre-back in the side, has a staggering 23 key passes to his name this season, more than City’s French defender Aymeric Laporte (eight).
Defensive-midfield: Fernandinho (Manchester City) 7.40
Despite being at the age of 33, Fernandinho has shown no signs of slowing down as the season progresses.
Ever since the arrival of Guardiola, the Brazilian has looked like a completely different machine and his game has evolved at an amazing rate. The midfielder has 19 key passes to his name, which is followed closely by the under-pressure Chelsea midfielder, Jorginho (17).
Right-midfield: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) 7.76
His pedigree at Liverpool was never in question, but nobody could have imagined how successful Raheem Sterling’s career would have been upon joining City. The youngster has been an integral part of the side ever since his arrival from Anfield in 2015 and will be one of many tricky customers on Sunday.
However, Sterling has only managed to score three goals, albeit two in the previous fixture, and has lost six times in 13 appearances in all competitions against the Blues. Sterling has an average of 4.8 dribbles per game, which outshines Chelsea’s Brazilian, Willian, whose average is less than half of that managed by Sterling.
Centre-midfield: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) 7.15
Bernardo Silva joined City in 2017 and has been a mainstay in the side ever since. The playmaker featured in more games than any other player for the club last season as they went on to rip the Premier League apart.
The Portuguese starlet has six assists in 26 league games, which outshines his Spanish Chelsea counterpart, Pedro, who has managed just the solitary one assist in 21 league appearances.
Centre-midfield: David Silva (Manchester City) 7.27
There isn’t much to say about David Silva that hasn’t already been said by fans and neutrals alike. Arguably City’s greatest player of all time, he has been at the centre of his club’s success ever since he touched down in Manchester in 2010. In 23 appearances in all competitions against Chelsea, he has seen victory on nine occasions and has provided seven assists.
Silva has a total of 49 key passes in 23 league appearances, whereas his likely midfield opponent on Sunday, Mateo Kovačić, has less than half of that (20).
Left-midfield: Leroy Sané (Manchester City) 7.40
City’s engine down the left flank is the German wonder-kid Leroy Sané. His ability to go from a standstill to full throttle would be enough to terrify even the best of defenders, which means the Blues will have to be at the top of their game to stop him. The German didn’t feature against the Pensioners last time out, but his excellent free-kick against his former club Schalke during the Champions League in midweek will have surely put him in contention for the final.
Sané has not scored or provided an assist in six games against the Blues in all competitions. However, that does not mean that the German won’t be an unbelievable threat in the final. Chelsea’s hard-working winger Pedro has made a total of 41 attempted dribbles. Despite the impressive statistic, it is less than half of Sané’s number of dribbles (83).
Striker: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) 7.65
The Blues will have to face the frightening Argentinian once again on Sunday. They haven’t had long to recover from the nightmare that Sergio Aguero caused on their last meeting after Aguero scored a wonderful hat-trick against the Blues.
Agüero is City’s top goalscorer in the league this season with 17 goals in 23 appearances, which is more than Chelsea’s top goalscorer Eden Hazard (12), whose dozen is just as impressive as most of his goals have come from the wing.
Striker: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 7.76
Despite the inclusion of Gonzalo Higuaín in the squad, things haven’t gone swimmingly for Chelsea’s talisman Hazard. You have got to feel sorry for the Belgian, as he has been one of the only bright sparks amongst the chaos over the last few months.
Hazard tops the list for performances in the league for his side, with an average match rating of 7.76 out of 10, which shows the priceless presence of the Belgian star. In 24 league appearances, Hazard has made a remarkable 68 key passes, 15 more than City winger Sterling (53).
By Darion Westwood