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Predicted Chelsea XI vs Manchester City: Cesc Fabregas set for No.10 role as Kurt Zouma is called into action

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon to take on Manchester City.

Both sides are expected to firmly challenge for this season’s title, and thus will be out to secure bragging rights early on in the campaign.

Chelsea’s title-defence got off to a terribly disappointing start, as they drew 2-2 with Swansea City at Stamford Bridge, with Thibaut Courtois being shown a red card early in the second-half.

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Diego Costa was unexpectedly named in Mourinho’s starting XI last week, in what was a line-up with no changes to the side that stunned England’s top flight in the 2014-15 campaign, and is likely to again start in Manchester.

Courtois, meanwhile, is serving his one-match ban, and Asmir Begovic will thus take his place as the the No.1 for the clash against the Citizens.

Here’s our predicted Chelsea XI…

GK – Asmir Begovic

The 28-year-old replaced Courtois following the Belgian’s red card last week, and impressed on his domestic debut, suggesting that he could well challenge for the No.1 spot.

Begovic

LB – Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea’s full backs will need to be at their best today with such pace in the City attack. Azpilicueta continues to impress, but competition is surely a must to keep the Spaniard on his toes.

Azpilicueta

CB – John Terry

Terry was handed a stern test by the Swans’ Bafetimbi Gomis in their opening game, but will face an even tougher task to keep Sergio Aguero away from goal.

John Terry

CB – Gary Cahill

Despite competition from Kurt Zouma, Cahill deservedly remains Mourinho’s first-choice to partner Terry. News that the Blues are interested in Everton’s John Stones, however, may have worried the England international.

Gary Cahill

RB – Branislav Ivanovic

Last week, the accomplished Ivanovic was given the runaround by Swansea’s Jefferson Montero, and this week, will have £49m man Raheem Sterling to contend with.

Ivanovic

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