Chelsea vs Man City: Picking the Best Possible Combined XI Ahead of Crunch Clash on Wednesday

One week ago, Chelsea would have looked at this match as one in which a draw would be a satisfactory result, and probably put all hope of catching the Blues to bed - but the defeat to Crystal Palace has transformed all that, and Antonio Conte's men know back to back losses could see their ten point lead be slashed to four points in the space of five days. This is a must win for Chelsea. Manchester City cannot afford to drop points either; a loss would push them back into the top four Champions...

Thibaut Courtois

There can only be one choice between the posts, and it is Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian stopper has been in inspired form for Chelsea, and despite often having very little to do he has always been ready when called upon. 

In contrast Pep Guardiola's best goalkeeper is currently playing for Torino, whilst Claudio Bravo continues his transformation into Rob Green. Willy Caballero has been reasonable since taking over as City's number one, but he is a long way off Courtois' level.

Cesar Azpilicueta

One of the unsung heroes of the Blues' season so far. The defender, affectionately known as Dave, arrived as a right back before displacing the great Ashely Cole at left back, and this season he has looked a natural at centre half.

Rarely will Azpilicueta ever drop below a 7/10, his tireless work rate and impeccable positioning means he has to start.

David Luiz

When Chelsea re-signed David Luiz on deadline day last summer, it was perceived to be a panic buy. Why would Chelsea want to bring back the man who plays as though "controlled by a 10-year-old on a playstation"?

Fast forward to April and the decision appears to have been a master stroke. Playing in the middle of a back three has protected Luiz from himself, limiting his erratic moments, and turned his brilliant passing range into a real weapon for the Blues.

Gary Cahill

City's shambolic back line this season means Gary Cahill completes an all-Chelsea defence. 

Chelsea's captain has begun to fill the enormous boots of John Terry. Cahill has not only been commanding at the back but also found the the net six times this season, often scoring crucial goals, such as the winner at Stoke. 

Raheem Sterling

After a difficult start to life at the Etihad, Raheem Sterling is finally finding the form that convinced Manchester City to splash £49m on the winger. With nine goals and eight assists this season, the winger has begun to add an end product to his game that had gone missing. 

Sterling's potential is enormous, and in Guardiola it would seem he has found a manager that is willing to make him a cornerstone of City's attack. 

Kevin De Bruyne

One of the best creative midfielders in the Premier League, he has the rare combination of height, pace and technique. De Bruyne tops the Premier League assist charts with eleven in the league, and a further four in all competitions. 

However, with only five goals to his name this season he can certainly improve, which is a seriously scary thought for City's Premier League rivals.  

N'Golo Kante

In defensive midfield it can only be N'Golo Kante. It is testimony to his ability that Leicester have struggled this season whilst Chelsea have flourished. He may be a defensive player but he has the impact of a 20-goal striker on a sides league position. 

He is everywhere, and his tireless engine allows Chelsea's attacking players to focus on hurting the opposition, rather than tracking runs. The Frenchman surely the favourite for the Player of the Year award.

Eden Hazard

The brilliant Belgian is back to his best. There is nobody better in the Premier League when dribbling at defenders. Hazard has been tormenting defences at will this season, and even managed to turn Francis Coquelin into a beyblade when scoring a stunning solo effort against Arsenal. 

With eleven goals and five assists he is realistically the only challenger to N'Golo Kante for Player of the Year.

Leroy Sane

Leroy Sane has grown into his role as the season has progressed, and eight goals and three assists is an impressive return for the 21-year-old's debut season in the Premier League. 

He is increasingly looking like a truly top player, and with so much developing still do he is a tremendous talent. 

£37m is a lot of money for a youngster, but on this showing so far, it would seem to be money well spent. 

Sergio Aguero

Despite not experiencing the most vintage of seasons, the Argentine is still only a goal behind the much lauded Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the charts with 14 strikes. There is no doubting Aguero's quality, and when on form he is the best striker in the league. 

There will be no shortage of suitors should Guardiola choose to sell him in the summer, he is absolutely lethal. If City are to get a result at the Bridge then Argentinean will have to be at his very best. 

Diego Costa

His form may have dipped slightly since having his head turned by China, but this season he has been the top forward in the league. 

Costa battered and barged his way through defences in the first half of the season, scoring 17 goals. No player has won more points for his side that Diego Costa's 1 for Chelsea. 

The most remarkable part of Costa's season though, is that he has put aside the theatrics in his game. Conte's ability to channel the Spaniard's aggression into scoring goals rather than fighting the opposition has been vital in Chelsea's title tilt. 

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