Premier League royalty is being served on a silver platter this Saturday when Chelsea host Manchester City in a diamond-encrusted clash.

The Stamford Bridge showdown takes centre stage over any fixture being contested this weekend, and we’re talking globally.

Pep Guardiola’s side are the reigning kings of the land but Thomas Tuchel’s new army have already taken chunks out of their castle.

The German defeated Guardiola three times last season, including an insignificant match some call the Champions League final.

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(Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Heavyweight bouts are always intriguing this early in a season, with knockout blows potentially taking effect for the entire campaign.

Which manager will strike first? Whoever gets their team sheet and tactics right, most likely.

Here’s our predicted Chelsea line-up for tomorrow’s epic encounter against City:

Defence

The firepower at City’s disposal could tear down a small village.

However, Chelsea have become an almost impenetrable fortress, guarded by some of the game’s finest defenders.

Their last line of fortification usually comes in the form of Edouard Mendy.

That hasn’t been the case in the past two fixtures, as the £22m (BBC) arrival from Rennes has been recovering from a knock.

Chelsea FC v Zenit St. Petersburg: Group H - UEFA Champions League
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Kepa Arrizabalaga has filled the gloves excellently, yet Chelsea will certainly want their no.1 back if he’s fit.

It would be risky rushing Mendy back, but the rewards could be worthwhile.

 

Whichever goalkeeper is selected, they can take comfort from the type of personnel in front of them.

Expect Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to return, having all sat out the mid-week EFL Cup win over Aston Villa.

This is the defence that kept Tottenham Hotspur at bay and provided two of the goals (Silva and Rudiger) into the bargain.

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Midfield

Tuchel gave plenty of players a run out in the cup on Wednesday to keep his main men fresh to face City.

Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are dead certs to replace Reece James and Ben Chilwell at wing-backs.

N’Golo Kante started against Villa but was replaced at half-time.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

That move was made to save him for Saturday, although in what capacity the 30-year-old Frenchman features is another matter.

Kante may be introduced from the bench as he was at Spurs, meaning the midfield reins will initially be handed to Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho.

Attack

Romelu Lukaku doesn’t even need to be introduced to this XI – he’s top of the VIP list – but who will be the Belgian’s two guests?

Mason Mount is most likely, although his performances have curtailed recently.

Timo Werner scored on Wednesday, a first goal for Chelsea since May, so would feel hard done by if Tuchel omitted him from the team.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

Chelsea Predicted XI vs Man City: Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Christensen; Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Lukaku, Werner

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