The battle for Jadon Sancho's signature looks set to begin.

Four high-profile clubs in England and Spain are reportedly monitoring the teenager, one of Europe's brightest prospects.

Aggrieved with recent events at Borussia Dortmund, Sancho could now seek a new home for next season.

 

TOP STORY – CLUBS QUEUE UP FOR 'SCAPEGOAT' SANCHO

Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid are the "leading quartet" of suitors for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to The Athletic.

Former club Manchester City have also asked to be "kept informed" following a string of events that have upset the 19-year-old England winger, notably his first-half substitution in the 4-0 Klassiker loss to Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Sancho's representatives are said to have deemed that move "disgraceful", paving the way for his Dortmund departure at the end of the Bundesliga season.

 

ROUND-UP

Paul Pogba's prolonged absence for Manchester United is part of a concerted effort to force through a January transfer to LaLiga giants Madrid, claims Spanish journalist Paco Gonzalez. Pogba, not sighted since September, is recovering from an ankle injury.

- According to Calciomercato, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is weighing up a move to AC Milan. The 38-year-old is available on a free transfer after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy. Ibrahimovic has been linked to Bologna, Tottenham, Napoli and Perth Glory.

West Ham are considering replacing Manuel Pellegrini with Chris Wilder, reports The Mirror. The Hammers are languishing 16th in the Premier League after 13 games, while Wilder's Sheffield United are riding high in sixth. Chris HughtonDavid Moyes and Rafael Benitez are reportedly among the other candidates should West Ham lose patience with Pellegrini.

- Wolves defender Owen Otasowie is wanted by Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Bundesliga team Schalke, reports The Sun. 18-year-old centre-back has also been watched by Liverpool and Arsenal.

- The Mirror reports Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Rhian Brewster on loan in January. Brewster, 19, has been unable to break his way into Liverpool's Premier League plans this term. The report states Villa face competition from Crystal PalaceLeeds United and Swansea City.

Liverpool maintained their stunning start to the season – and eight-point lead at the summit – with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Jose Mourinho wasted little time in making his mark at Tottenham after he was brought in to replace Mauricio Pochettino, guiding the north London club to a 3-2 win over sorry rivals West Ham.

Manchester City, meanwhile, bounced back from their damaging 3-1 defeat to Liverpool before the international break with an entertaining 2-1 victory against Chelsea – a result which saw them leapfrog Frank Lampard's side into third.

The game of the weekend came on Sunday when Sheffield United and Manchester United played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane, with the visitors coming from two goals down to lead 3-2 before Oli McBurnie's late equaliser.

Here, we look at the best milestones and stats from another action-packed weekend of Premier League action.

RELENTLESS REDS MARCH ON AGAINST PALACE

Liverpool became only the fourth side in English top-flight history to have as many as 37 points from their opening 13 league games to a season after their slender win at Selhurst Park.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring shortly after half-time, which was perhaps unsurprising given his superb record against the Eagles. His deflected strike means he has now scored eight Premier League goals against Palace – more than against any other opponent.

It had looked like Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool would drop points for just the second time this season when Wilfried Zaha levelled with eight minutes remaining. That was the Ivorian's first goal in 14 Premier League games, ending a run of 1245 minutes without scoring.

Roberto Firmino had the final say, though, prodding home after a corner had caused chaos in the Palace penalty area. Since the start of last season, Liverpool have scored 38 goals from set-pieces in the Premier League (including penalties) – eight more than any other club.

The win takes the Reds' unbeaten run in the Premier League to 30 matches. Only Arsenal (49 games in October 2004) and Chelsea (40 in October 2005) have ever had longer runs without defeat in the history of the competition.

MOURINHO BACK WITH A BANG

Mourinho made a triumphant return to management as Tottenham saw off West Ham at the London Stadium.

Having lost his first ever competitive game as manager, with Benfica in September 2000, Mourinho has gone unbeaten in his first game in charge at each of his eight clubs since then.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid boss was indebted to star duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who scored other side of Lucas Moura's close-range effort.

Kane has now scored eight goals in his last nine Premier League games against the Hammers, while Son's strike means he is Spurs' leading scorer in all competitions in 2019 with 19 – one more than Kane.

GUARDIOLA SETS UNWANTED RECORD IN CITY WIN

City claimed a valuable Premier League victory over Chelsea on Saturday, despite recording the lowest share of possession any Pep Guardiola side has managed in a top-flight game.

City's possession figure of just 46.74 per cent is the lowest any team coached by Guardiola has registered in 381 top-flight matches.

N'Golo Kante gave Chelsea a 21st-minute lead but, remarkably, Lampard's side did not manage another shot on target for the remainder of the match.

City stormed back after that early setback to claim all three points thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian has now been directly involved in 10 goals in his 11 starts across all competitions this season, scoring four and creating six more.

BRAMALL LANE DRAMA LEAVES SOLSKJAER WITH MIXED EMOTIONS

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave his Manchester United players credit after they scored three goals in seven minutes to overturn a two-goal deficit against Sheffield United but condemned their display for the first hour at Bramall Lane.

Goals from John Fleck and Lys Mousset put the Blades in front and United have not kept a clean sheet on the road in the Premier League in their last 12 matches - their worst top-flight run since going 15 away games without a shutout between September 1985 and April 1986.

Fortunately for Solskjaer, his young charges rallied and Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood struck in quick succession to make it 2-2. The last time two teenagers scored in a Premier League game for United was in October 2005, when Wayne Rooney and Giuseppe Rossi netted against Sunderland.

Marcus Rashford's goal in the 79th minute put United on course for a win that did not transpire, but the England forward continued his good record against newly-promoted opponents - he has been involved in eight goals in his last five Premier League appearances against newcomers (four goals, four assists).

Pep Guardiola is eager for Fernandinho to remain in Manchester City's defence, even if the decision draws criticism.

Fernandinho has been used primarily as an emergency centre-back this season, with Aymeric Laporte out injured while John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have struggled with fitness and consistency issues.

The Brazil international has often looked City's most solid option at the back in Laporte's absence, despite the fact he is primarily a midfielder.

And Guardiola has no plans to alter Fernandinho's role if his other midfield options stay fit.

"If Rodri and Gundogan are fit, I don't think so. I like Fernandinho there, in that position [centre-back]. I like it," Guardiola told reporters when asked if he would move the 34-year-old back into the centre of the park.

"I know he can play there, but we have Gundogan, I trust him a lot, and Rodri.

"Since I arrived here we were looking for a holding midfielder in the first season. Fernandinho was good [against Chelsea] because we won.

"If we lose, he played s***, I know that, but we won. So at Anfield he was the best central defender we have there, but [apparently] it was a disaster. I know how it works, this job.

"He was incredible at Anfield, he was incredible [against Chelsea]. He is so fast, in our build-up he's perfect.

"It is important to be aggressive as the midfielder but to be quick with the ball and to find solutions in smaller spaces. Gundogan has that quality. That's why we look [at him] in other situations."

While City's injury problems have come mainly in defence so far this season, Guardiola harbours concerns over Sergio Aguero, who was forced off late on in the 2-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

However, Guardiola has no doubts Gabriel Jesus – who has scored five goals in all competitions this season – can fill the void should Aguero miss an extended period of time.

"Gabriel has made one of the best starts this season. If Sergio cannot play in the next games, we will see, Gabriel will be of course our option," Guardiola said.

"[Raheem] Sterling can play also in that position but Gabriel is going to play there of course."

Pep Guardiola has no doubt his Manchester City side will fight to the bitter end even if he concedes the Premier League title race may already be over.

City came from behind to claim a vital 2-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday, after unbeaten table-toppers Liverpool had temporarily moved 12 points clear of the defending champions thanks to a victory at Crystal Palace.

However, with the gap between Liverpool and the chasing pack – including second-placed Leicester City and fourth-placed Chelsea – already so large, Guardiola acknowledged the Reds may already have one hand on the trophy.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach, though, insists he will never doubt his team's desire to fight for glory.

"The only pressure we can have is that we're going to lose the Premier League. Okay. That is the pressure. We're going to lose the Premier League," he said.

"It's not the first time Manchester City lose the Premier League. So, we're going to lose the Premier League, we're going to try the next season.

"We didn't give up last season and that's why we won again. Maybe we're going to lose, but this team never gives up. This team tries.

"It's far away, with these numbers Liverpool are unstoppable. But if you believe I am going to doubt my players because they didn't try, you are wrong.

"We would not have been able to do what we have done, 100 points, four titles, it never happened before and even this season we are there and you see the games. One, judge the result, but I try to judge performance, and I see every morning, every day my team and I don't have doubts we're going to try."

Guardiola's side have already lost three league matches this season, having only been beaten four times en route to the title last term.

But Guardiola believes it is ridiculous to expect City to be able to keep on improving on the levels they have shown in previous seasons.

"It looks like how we have won two Premier Leagues, we'd have to win seven Premier Leagues in a row and have to make 200 points every season," he said. 

"It doesn't work in that way at that high level. In tennis, players lose games. In golf, it's not always Tommy Fleetwood who wins the tournaments, I would like that, but it's not.

"How is our spirit after 1-0 down, the way we played in Anfield in every game, that is how I like to see my team. I would like to see us there, nine points, we are in November so wow, many games we have to play."

Guardiola also feels putting too much weight behind a defeat is a worrying trend for society at large.

"We did it for the last 24 months or more. If you win, you have a good spirit, good character, good everything. If you lose then it is done. So the line is so tight," he added.

"Winners and losers, that's all. I think for sport, it is a message to society, it's not good for our kids to show that just the winner is perfect.

"The importance is the commitment. All sports we want to win. But losing is not a disaster. That's why I said to the players, relax, do our job, we will see what happens."

Kevin De Bruyne sees himself as one of the leaders in Manchester City's squad, having helped to spark the comeback against Chelsea on Saturday.

De Bruyne scored City's equaliser as Pep Guardiola's side came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 at Etihad Stadium.

The victory takes the defending champions up to third place, one point behind high-flyers Leicester City but nine shy of leaders Liverpool.

Having missed much of last season through injury, De Bruyne has been in scintillating form this campaign, scoring three league goals and leading the way in the division with nine assists.

At 28, the Belgium playmaker – who signed for City in 2015 – now identifies himself as a guiding light for a team who saw Vincent Kompany return to Anderlecht this year and are set to see David Silva move on at the end of the season.

"I push myself [to be] the best I can be. If you set goals to be the best, you always push yourself hard," De Bruyne said.

"That's what I did when I was a teenager and that's what I'm doing now. It's a little bit more important that the team wins now, but I just work hard.

"The main thing is that I'm helping the team, I'm helping these guys, leading them, especially the younger guys. I know I can make a difference to them.

"I just push myself. There's nobody who puts more pressure on me than myself. It's not difficult for me to work hard and to push myself to the limit. Sometimes you have good games, some other times you don't, but even when you play average or bad, you still have to do your job and help the team.

"I'm a midfielder, so I'm there to help the team the best I can and make the team play good together. That's my main focus."

City's win followed on from a 3-1 defeat at Anfield prior to the international break – a result that already threatens to look pivotal in the title race given Liverpool's relentless run of results.

"We work really hard and the main thing, when you lose a game, is to come back with a good reaction," De Bruyne added.

"That's what we have always done over the last four or five years. I think it's very rare to see us lose two games in a row. We have a lot of quality to make the difference."

Frank Lampard put Chelsea's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City down to the "finer details" and a moment of quality from Riyad Mahrez.

Chelsea took the lead through N'Golo Kante at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but the Premier League champions fought back - Kevin de Bruyne's deflected strike restoring parity before Mahrez slotted home at the culmination of a brilliant run.

Lampard's side had more possession than City, despite living dangerously at the back at times, and he believes moments in both boxes are ultimately what settled the contest in Pep Guardiola's favour.

"Coming into the game with our recent form and how we're developing quickly, recently, I wanted to come here and compete, be brave on and off the ball and I think in the first half you saw all of that," Lampard told a news conference.

"At 1-0 we had relative control of the game. It's clear that never lasts if you have one moment, which they had a couple of moments, but we were playing well and there's a lot of positives but we lost the game, so it shows at this level, the finer details in both boxes are what decide these ones.

"I don't think you can come away from this game and say anything other than two really strong teams going against each other and one wins it because of a deflected goal and a real moment of quality from Mahrez and the rest is pretty much in the balance."

Chelsea headed into the fixture on the back of six straight Premier League victories, though the Blues are yet to beat any of the established "big six" Premier League sides under Lampard.

They have lost twice to Manchester United - on the opening day of the season and in the EFL Cup - while also going down to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup and in the Premier League.

Lampard, though, insists all of the defeats have not been down to Chelsea's style of play or the inexperience of his youthful side.

"Everyone seems fixated on these couple of games we've played," Lampard said.

"We went toe-to-toe with Liverpool in Istanbul, lost on penalties. Lost at home in the league, pushing for 45 minutes and we've lost today with a very good performance.

"It's moments in the boxes, it's not something that you can put down to being a rule of going into a game why you'd win it or why you don't.

"These teams, Liverpool and City, have been getting results for a long time because they work together, work hard and those finer details they get right."

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea have demonstrated they are on track to close the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League.

Chelsea opened the scoring against City on Saturday, but the defending champions - who are nine points shy of current leaders Liverpool - came back to win 2-1.

The defeat ends a six-match winning run for fourth-placed Chelsea in the league, though Lampard has no doubt his side demonstrated they have enough quality to challenge the leading teams in the competition.

"Some big parts were good, some bits we can improve on. That's why there's a gap, that's why there was a gap last year of however many points, that's what City and Liverpool have done," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"I think we went toe to toe in the main. A moment of quality from Mahrez and a deflection for the first goal feels like the difference, for me.

"There was a lot of detail in the game, but I feel like we didn't have that bit of quality that we can have. Games like this can be won or lost in the boxes - and I think it was [the case].

"We're coming to close the gap. I don't want to shout that too loudly because football is day to day, week to week.

"Now we have to show our response to a defeat after a great run of wins, it feels like a long time since we lost a game in the league, so now we need to go and straight away get back on it, because I do feel like there were bits of that game that show that we're coming.

"Of course we're in the early stages, we're three or four months in, we're a team that we're strong last year anyway but some of our players were playing in the Championship last season and there's a bit of a transitional feel to it.

"I feel if we keep working then we will be coming."

City won despite posting a possession figure of 46.74 per cent, according to official Opta data, the lowest figure any Guardiola side has registered in 381 top-flight games.

"It's how we try and play. You can never be comfortable, they had a few good opportunities early on, but so did we," Lampard added of his team's style.

"I think maybe we got a little bit sloppy in fact, gave them a chance. Good teams, great teams, work to earn their luck. We're in that process. We need to work to make sure that goes in our favour.

"I felt for big parts of the game, in terms of possession we had more and caused a lot of problems behind their midfield line, but then there were times when we were sloppy trying to pass it between our centre-halves, trying to get our full-backs involved.

"They pressed well, they're very well organised. They made it hard for us and there's details in our own game to push a bit more."

If winning ugly truly is a mark of champions, Manchester City's Premier League title challenge is very much alive.

After losing to Liverpool two weeks ago and then watching yet another late winner from Jurgen Klopp's relentless Reds at Crystal Palace earlier on Saturday, City's task against Chelsea was straightforward: don't give the leaders any more reason to believe.

Pep Guardiola's message before the game was simple, too, as the task of hauling in Liverpool was laid bare: "We have two options – give up or don't give up." Against Chelsea, they flirted with the former before choosing the latter.

Quite what the message to Benjamin Mendy was is another matter, though, and one that could have deeper implications when the title race enters its more decisive months.

Chelsea, of course, came to Etihad Stadium in buoyant mood - quite the contrast to the way they left it last season after a 6-0 humiliation of a kind rarely experienced, certainly since Roman Abramovich laid down roots in London. But this is a different Chelsea: a team playing with few expectations, bursting with confidence and chasing an eighth away win in a row in all competitions for the first time.

More to the point, there was a plan: get after Mendy. Not included against Liverpool for "tactical reasons", Mendy was part of the Chelsea blueprint from the off. Willian attacked relentlessly down the right and N'Golo Kante often joined him. With Raheem Sterling unwilling to track back, Rodri was dragged to the left to provide cover.

That was how Chelsea struck.

Mateo Kovacic played a one-two with Jorginho on halfway, and Kante set off, a diminutive whirlwind surging through the middle of the sky blue shirts onto the Kovacic pass. Rodri, out of position, did not track him; Fernandinho, emergency centre-back again, could not. Kante finished well under pressure from Mendy, who had belatedly realised the danger. It was Chelsea's second and final shot on target.

Chelsea deserved their lead. Beating City requires a careful plan and the hope of an off-day from Guardiola's men and, boy, they had that in the first half-hour. Kante has not been transformed by Frank Lampard - nobody should forget how Maurizio Sarri was often pilloried for playing the France star further forward - but he has embraced this idea of unleashing the former Leicester City man. In terms of average positions, Kante ended the first half the furthest forward of any Chelsea player. He was a weapon deployed with astute precision.

City, meanwhile, were alarmingly poor. Whatever the end result, Guardiola teams can normally be guaranteed to have more possession and run that little bit harder than their opponents. After 45 minutes, they had had 45 per cent of the ball and been outsprinted 56-50.

And yet, they were winning.

Kevin De Bruyne was wayward with his early passing but it soon became clear that, if it was going to happen for City, it would happen through him. It duly did 29 minutes in, De Bruyne dummying Jorginho and finding the net via the well-placed studs of Kurt Zouma, all after Fernandinho waded back into more comfortable midfield waters to steal possession.

For all their own problems at left-back, City identified the same weakness in Chelsea, a team who, exciting as they are, have kept only three clean sheets in the league under Lampard. Emerson Palmieri was tasked with dealing with Riyad Mahrez and simply never managed it. When he asked for help from Kovacic, they were equally obliging in allowing Mahrez to cut into the box on his left foot and finish in supreme style.

Mahrez was the main threat after the break, a clever corner giving Joao Cancelo a chance to score before a brilliant Kepa Arrizabalaga save denied him a second goal of his own. He would have had a late assist for Sterling but for a correct VAR intervention for offside.

A Chelsea comeback never really looked on and City had control once Ilkay Gundogan was introduced, even if they ended with the lowest possession figure, 46.7 per cent, that Guardiola has seen in 381 league matches in charge of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City.

They are back into third, nine points behind Liverpool, with a slight hop in their step if not quite a spring. Never mind the gap, as David Silva said on Friday; City have overturned them before.

But there is a nagging doubt about Mendy, about how he impacts the team as a whole and whether he is worth the gamble, that is more difficult to ignore.

Manchester City claimed a valuable Premier League victory over Chelsea on Saturday, despite recording the lowest share of possession any Pep Guardiola side has managed in a top-flight game.

During his stints in charge of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, Guardiola has become synonymous with dominance of the ball.

Yet his side's 2-1 win against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, secured by goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez after N'Golo Kante had given the visitors the lead, was notable for City managing a possesion figure of just 46.74 per cent, according to official Opta data.

That represents the lowest figure any Guardiola side has registered in 381 top-flight games.

"It's not that easy, people expect us to have 70 per cent of the possession, but these guys [Chelsea] have a lot of quality," said ex-Blues midfielder De Bruyne in a post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"It shows the other side we have, that we can control the game while defending and that's also good for us."

 

Sergio Aguero may have sustained a "bad" injury as Manchester City earned a comeback Premier League win at home to Chelsea, said manager Pep Guardiola.

City only had 46.74 possession against the in-form Blues, the lowest recorded by a Guardiola side in his 381 top-flight matches as a manager, but they collected a crucial three points.

N'Golo Kante had given Chelsea a deserved lead by squeezing a clever finish past returning goalkeeper Ederson, but Kevin De Bruyne's deflected shot levelled the score before Riyad Mahrez curled in what proved the winner.

City's comeback, though, was marred by a trio of injuries to key players as Rodri, David Silva and Aguero all had to be substituted during the second half at Etihad Stadium.

Aguero appeared to be in some discomfort as he hobbled off and Guardiola fears the striker could miss some time for the champions.

"I think Sergio will be bad, I think so... this feeling, tomorrow [Sunday] we will know," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

"We will see tomorrow, the feeling is it is muscular. It is what it is, we have young players and we will try [to cope if Aguero is ruled out]."

Manchester City came from behind to claim a valuable 2-1 win at home to Chelsea and move up to third in the Premier League table, although Saturday's victory was marred by injury concerns for Rodri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

N'Golo Kante marked his 150th Chelsea appearance with a deserved opening goal, before City hit back to lead at the interval thanks to Kevin De Bruyne's deflected strike and a fine solo effort from Riyad Mahrez.

City lost at title rivals Liverpool in their last game before the international break but crucially got back to winning ways despite a strangely low-tempo performance at the Etihad Stadium, where three key players limped off during the second half.

Defeat for Frank Lampard's side ended a six-game winning streak in the league and denied the Blues the chance to set a club record of eight straight victories away from home in all competitions.

Chelsea were the better side initially and opened the scoring in the 21st minute, Kante bursting through a gap in City's defence to meet Mateo Kovacic's lofted pass, hold off the challenge of Benjamin Mendy and squeeze a clever finish past Ederson.

City were soon level, though, De Bruyne equalising against his old club when he sold Jorginho a dummy and saw his shot take a decisive deflection off Kurt Zouma, and they led before half-time.

Mahrez collected the ball in the left channel, skipped inside away from Kovacic and Emerson Palmieri and fired a superb low shot through the legs of Tomori to beat Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea were fortunate not to be 3-1 down at the break, Kepa's loose pass presenting Aguero with a clear sight of goal that the striker wasted by hitting the crossbar.

City lost Rodri and Silva after the break, prior to Kepa making a fingertip save to deny De Bruyne his second, while Aguero also hobbled out of the action to join City's growing injury list.

Ederson made a brilliant flying save to keep out Willian's drive, though a goal kick was incorrectly awarded, and substitute Mason Mount curled a late free-kick wide before Raheem Sterling had a third for City disallowed for offside by VAR.

 


What does it mean? City back on track despite injury issues

This was far from a vintage City display as they struggled to dominate possession in their usual fashion, but they did enough to recover from a damaging defeat at Liverpool last time out - their third Premier League loss of the season - though Pep Guardiola may be concerned about Aguero's injury, in particular. Chelsea slip to fourth, dropping below City, after suffering a first league loss since September.


Mahrez magic decisive

Bernardo Silva's suspension handed Mahrez a chance to shine and the Algeria winger provided a wonderful winner for City, his first league goal since September coming at the perfect time.


Sterling struggles to impose himself

It was a dramatic international break for Raheem Sterling, who was dropped by England for a Euro 2020 qualifier following an altercation with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez. The City forward did not provide enough defensive cover for Mendy on Saturday and was well below his effervescent best in attack, though he would have scored at the death but for a marginal offside call aided by video technology.


What's next?

Shakhtar Donetsk visit the Etihad in the Champions League on Tuesday, with Chelsea away to Valencia the following day. City go to Newcastle United in the league on Saturday, when Lampard's side are at home to West Ham.

Ederson is back in the Manchester City side to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.

The goalkeeper missed City's last game, a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool that left the champions nine points behind Jurgen Klopp's Reds in the Premier League table.

Ederson was withdrawn during a Champions League draw with Atalanta this month due to a thigh injury, with Kyle Walker ending the game in goal after Claudio Bravo was sent off.

The Brazil international has, as expected, been passed fit for a crunch clash with Chelsea, with Frank Lampard's side having won six straight Premier League games to move up to third in the league, above City.

Bernardo Silva is out after being banned for one game for his controversial tweet about team-mate Benjamin Mendy, while Raheem Sterling starts after being dropped for England's 7-0 win over Montenegro during the international break following an incident with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.

David Silva also returns to midfield, having been an unused substitute against Liverpool, while Riyad Mahrez starts alongside Sterling and Sergio Aguero.

Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Fernandinho and Mendy line up in defence.

Chelsea make two changes from a victory over Crystal Palace as they aim to win eight consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time in their history.

Jorginho replaces Mason Mount in midfield and Cesar Azpilicueta comes in for Reece James at full-back.

Frank Lampard will not judge his Chelsea players on one game as they prepare to face Manchester City, and admitted the Blues would need to defend well at the Etihad Stadium.

Chelsea go into their clash with the champions on Saturday having won six Premier League matches in a row and only Manchester United have beaten Lampard's men on the road this season, that defeat coming on the opening weekend back in August.

Since then Chelsea have lost only to league leaders Liverpool in the league, and City are still smarting from their 3-1 defeat to the Reds before the international break.

Lampard described City and Liverpool as having set the standard for his players to aspire to but said he would not be tearing up the gameplan that has been working well for him in recent weeks.

"We are playing Man City and I'm not going to judge us right now on that one game," Lampard told Soccer Saturday.

"I will judge us over what we've done until now, how we keep improving, how we work and where we go over a bigger period.

"We know that when you go to Man City or any of these big teams that you can lose, but what you must do is give everything and not roll over, no matter what happens, and you must fight until the end and give everything you can as a team.

"We won't change our plan hugely. Some people ask if we're going to go there and defend or can we go and attack but you're going to have to defend, it's all about how well you do it and it's going to be a huge part of the game."

Third-placed Chelsea are a point clear of City in the table and Lampard's men have been scoring freely, but the Blues have lost three of their last four Premier League away games against Pep Guardiola's men.

Lampard has a number of players in fine form, with Christian Pulisic having scored five goals in his last three league games, and the Chelsea boss said he feels no need to play down his players' achievements thus far.

"There's a balance to it for me and one thing is that we're playing well," said Lampard. "I don't want to hide that from the players and double bluff them - they are playing well and they should know that.

"But the other thing is, when you come up against these teams, you don't know if you're going to be judged at the end of the season on these games because there are 38 matches in a season and we want to win a huge majority of them.

"But you do know that when you come up against them head to head, the level of detail and the finer moments of the game will be the deciding factor."

Pep Guardiola rubbished claims Manchester City's patchy form this season will persuade him to seek pastures new, suggesting he a stay beyond the end of his contract is possible.

City host Chelsea on Saturday as they resume their title defence nine points in arrears of Liverpool, after Jurgen Klopp's runaway leaders beat them 3-1 at Anfield last time out.

Guardiola's animatedly fraught touchline demeanour throughout the contest, where he railed against key decisions that did not fall in his side's favour, arguably painted a picture of deeper discontent.

This is only the second time the 48-year-old has entered a fourth season in charge of a club, following his 2011-12 campaign at Barcelona, where they won the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup, but ceded LaLiga to Real Madrid.

A year's sabbatical followed before a three-season stay at Bayern Munich, and the manner in which events unfolded on Merseyside meant it was easy to draw parallels and presume the famously intense Guardiola was burning himself out.

"My last season in Barcelona, I won four titles. I'm sorry – it was not bad," he grinned when the comparison was raised before the game against Chelsea, who are a point and a place better off than City as they sit third in the Premier League.

"Okay, we didn’t win the league and, as always, I didn't win the Champions League, but it was good.

"And we played the best football we played in Barcelona in the last season because we knew each other. That was my feeling."

Guardiola reports a similar feeling of contentment when it comes to his current employers, bolstered by an affinity for the city he presently calls home.

"I don't have any reasons to move from here. I am incredibly satisfied to work with this club and these players and I want to help," said Guardiola, whose City contract expires in 2021.

"If the people believe I am going to resign or I am going to be sad for these results, for nine points behind, the people don't know me.

"I like this challenge. I love to be in this position. If the club wants, next season I want to be here. One hundred per cent.

"I want to live in this city because I know lovely people here and I want to work and live with them. I want to be here.

"It's not because I am friends with Txiki [Begiristain, City and ex-Barcelona director of football] that I am going to stay here for the rest of my life. I am sitting here because I win; if I don't win, I am in trouble. I know that.

"I am incredibly satisfied to work in this city and at this club. I want to help this club to get better. I still enjoy working with these players a lot and I would like to stay longer.

"If the club wants, I will stay."

Ederson will return from a thigh injury against Chelsea after the goalkeeper was a keenly felt absentee versus Liverpool, although City's long-term casualties still include Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane.

During the international break, the Football Association handed Bernardo Silva a one-match ban for a racially insensitive tweet he sent to team-mate Benjamin Mendy, while Raheem Sterling's clash on England duty with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez amounted to another unseemly episode.

This set of circumstances adds up to a sharp contrast with City's imperious march to a domestic treble last season and a 100-point haul in 2017-18, but Guardiola insists he always maintained a sense of perspective.

"A few months ago, people said, 'you can't do better; you are a perfect team' and I said all the time, 'nope'," he recalled.

"Football depends on the balance of the team and it is so flexible. Wow: be careful. I have the feeling we are not far, far away from the way we played in the last seasons.

"It would be easy for me to say we miss Laporte, Leroy and the other ones and that is why there is a nine-point gap.

"That would be poor analysis to get through and improve as a team. We have to find a solution. The big clubs always overcome the situations."

Having rejected any notion of finality around this phase of his City reign, Guardiola expressed a similar sentiment regarding the uphill battle to come in the title race.

"I know all around the world the Premier League is done," he added. "If that happens, we will try again next season.

"We have two options: give up or don't give up. And I don't think after the way we played, especially at Anfield, we are going to give up.

"We are not going to win, maybe, but we are not going to give up."

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