Chelsea V Man City at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

By
04 April 2017

Antonio Conte: David Luiz still needs treatment after Sergio Aguero tackle

David Luiz continues to require ongoing treatment to a knee injury sustained in a tackle by Sergio Aguero in December, but Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says there will be no bad blood in Wednesday's clash between the sides.

Chelsea's 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium ended in acrimony as City striker Aguero caught Chelsea defender Luiz on the knee, sparking a touchline melee.

Aguero and Fernandinho were sent off, the latter for pushing Cesc Fabregas over the advertising hoardings, and the clubs were punished by the Football Association.

Conte on Tuesday said: "I think now his knee is better than before and for sure he needs to have the treatment.

"It's not important (the game at City). We must understand that when there is a game and above all if someone is losing the game, it can happen this type of situation. I have great respect for Aguero."

Chelsea saw their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League cut to seven with defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Second-placed Tottenham, who play at Swansea on Wednesday, could cut the gap further if Chelsea drop points against City.

Pep Guardiola's City enter the fixture in fourth, 11 points adrift.

Guardiola had recently anointed Chelsea champions - something then laughed off as mind games by Conte, who denies the title race is over.

"It's normal with 27 points available that anything can happen in the league," Conte added. "We need 21 points to win the league mathematically. I think we are in a really good position.

"Nobody thought that Chelsea could fight this season for the title, but we stay there. We stay there and we want to keep this position.

"We know there are many teams that want to win the league, but it's normal this. I hope that who wins this league will deserve to win the league."

Victor Moses (toe) is one of "a couple of situations" to check. Right wing-back Moses missed the Palace loss, while Eden Hazard returned and completed 90 minutes following a calf injury.

Aguero and Luiz also clashed at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final in 2013 but Guardiola has spoken up for his player over this season's incident and also defended the character of Fernandinho.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: "We can talk about Sergio and many things but we are not to going to talk about Sergio and say he is not calm. We are not going to say Sergio Aguero is a dangerous player, please.

"The reaction, what happened with Sergio and Fernandinho, was our frustration on the pitch in that moment.

"Fernandinho is another guy who is aggressive but is one of the sweetest and nicest guys I have ever met. What happened happened, but Sergio and Fernandinho are nice guys. With the way we want to play there is no doubt about that."

Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus has returned to training with City seven weeks after breaking a bone in his foot.

The Brazil striker underwent surgery after fracturing a metatarsal in City's Premier League victory at Bournemouth in February.

Guardiola said last week Jesus - who turned 20 on Monday - was ready to resume some form of training and the club have now confirmed he has done some "light ball work".

Jesus' progress raises hopes he could return to action before the end of the season. It was initially feared he may not play again this term.

A report on the club's website confirmed the player "stepped up his recovery from injury today when he returned to the training field for the first time since February".

Jesus made a big impact after joining the club from Palmeiras in January, scoring three goals in five appearances and displacing Aguero from the side.


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