Alvaro Morata scored twice to take unbeaten Chelsea above Liverpool into second place in the Premier League behind Manchester City yesterday, but Maurizio Sarri's men made hard work of seeing off Crystal Palace 3-1.
He would have known, as would the team, that they were in for a hard afternoon regardless, but that if you let City get away in the early stages then the result is a foregone conclusion.
Aymeric Laporte is expected to start once again.
Pep might surprise a few by selecting Danilo at right-back. "I like to have that feeling that we won 6-1 and are top but at the same time we have to improve in many situations to be a more stable team because when we arrive in the next steps of the Champions League, when you concede in those situations you are out because the level is higher", he concluded.
Benjamin Mendy might get a day off.
Former Shakhtar Donetsk star Fernandinho will continue as the deepest of the midfielders for Manchester City on Wednesday and will be in charge of breaking up play in the middle.
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In the end, all of that celebrity backing didn't translate to victory in a reliably red state like Texas. Meanwhile, a comedy bit put the candidates in the national spotlight yet again.
Sergio Aguero is in line for a breather with Gabriel Jesus expected to lead the attack.
Palace's hopes of securing a crucial point vanished when they conceded two goals in five second-half minutes. Viktor Kovalenko, who scored the victor against Dynamo Kyiv at the weekend, is likely to be rewarded with a start on Wednesday in the No.10 role.
It was a rare mistake from goalkeeper Ederson that led to the Saints goal, the Brazilian diving unnecessarily at the feet of Danny Ings and tripping the forward, who convincingly shot home the penalty.
Watford have been decent, but they were just beaten at Newcastle, and simply have to be dispatched at St Mary's for the sake of points, confidence and ending the long wait for a home win. Their only defeat came against Olympique Lyon in their UEFA Champions League opener. "After, we have three or four days to think about United". "We have three chances, winning the two games at home we'll be there and that is the first target".
Manchester City have kept eight clean sheets in their previous ten matches across all competitions.
"Last year was hard for me for many things". On the other hand, Shakhtar have struggled defensively in Europe, having already let in seven goals in their three matches this season. "It is a joy to be manager of them because they follow us", he added.