Manchester City v Chelsea: Five key battles - Hart, Fabregas and more

Joe Hart

Joe Hart v Thibaut Courtois is one of several key battles as Chelsea head to Manchester City.

Chelsea’s trip to Manchester City is one of the biggest on the Premier League fixture list this weekend.

The Blues have made an early claim to wrestle the Premier League title away from the Etihad but Manchester City is still one of the most difficult grounds to go to in the country.

Here are five key battles ahead of the game.

Joe Hart v Thibaut Courtois

This isn’t a direct battle but one which will be important nevertheless.

Both goalkeepers will have to make the right decisions at the right times to keep their sides in the game. They’re both extremely talented although Hart has a clear edge in terms of having more Premier League experience.

Vincent Kompany v Diego Costa

This will be a really interesting battle to watch for several reasons.

The main reason is because Kompany is well matched to Costa physically so the Spanish international won’t be able to out muscle the City star. It will also be interesting to see if Kompany tries to get beneath his skin.

Pablo Zabaleta v Eden Hazard

Hazard was Chelsea’s best attacking player last season and he’ll be vital for them off of the left hand side.

Hazard is top of the dribbling table for Chelsea by some way and Zabaleta will most likely be the man tasked with trying to stop him. Does he back off or should he try and get in Hazard’s face?

Yaya Toure v Cesc Fabregas

A battle between the two key central midfielders on each team.

Toure has questions to answer and plenty of City fans will be watching him closely after the criticism he got for laughing with Pep Guardiola after the Bayern Munich defeat last week. Fabregas is the man City need to stop getting on the ball because he can create a good chance from a variety of positions.

Sergio Aguero v John Terry

Terry has played against forwards like Aguero numerous times in the past.

It will be interesting to see how much Aguero wants to drift onto Terry’s side of the defence, as he’ll more than like try to exploit his lack of pace and will try to get the better of him in terms of agility.

Register for MANCHESTER CITY team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch