Manchester City are desperate to qualify for the Champions League, but face a tough task against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
City currently occupy the coveted fourth and final Champions League spot, but will want to catch Arsenal, who are just two points ahead in third, to qualify automatically.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have returned to winning ways after derby defeat to United, thrashing Bournemouth 4-0 before overcoming West Brom 2-1 last weekend.
They may have been distracted by their Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, and their upcoming semi-final against Real Madrid, but will have to return their focus to domestic matters, as rivals United are only four points behind them and looking to steal into the top four.
Chelsea, meanwhile, saw their 15-match unbeaten run under Guus Hiddink come to a stuttering halt with a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City last weekend.
That result leaves the Blues exactly mid-table in 10th, and with little to play for in what remains in the campaign, but derailing the Citizens at this crucial stage in the season could be motivation enough.
Both sides have had success against each other this campaign, with City claiming a big 3-0 win when they met in the league before Chelsea got revenge with a 5-1 destruction of a weakened City side in the FA Cup.
City boss Pellegrini was asked about his side’s Champions League campaign ahead of the league match, but insisted that European glory will not take their focus away from securing a strong finish to the domestic campaign.
“I’m not prioritising any competition,” the Chilean boss said. “The best way to do it is to play well, win our games. Our target is to win the next nine points.”
Speaking for the Blues, former Barcelona winger Pedro insisted that the reigning champions want to end their season on a high note, and will be looking for glory against the Citizens despite having little to aim for in the closing weeks of the campaign.
“For myself and the team it’s a big game,” the Spaniard said. “Every player wants to be involved in these type of matches, especially at home, and we will fight until the end to get a victory.
“We want to finish strongly and then next season, if we work hard, hopefully we will be able to challenge for the title.”
For Chelsea fans, the players to watch are not any of their underperforming champions, but the promising youngster who have recently taken their chances to shine under Hiddink. Local lad Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been enjoying a successful little run in the first team, while the likes of Matt Miazga and Kenedy have also featured in the last couple of matches.
City have been revitalised by the return to action of winger Kevin De Bruyne, who scored the winner against PSG and also found the net in the first leg, and fans will be hoping for more of the same from the pacy young Belgian.
In team news, Pellegrini has stated that centre-back Vincent Kompany (calf) is not quite ready to feature just yet. Winger Raheem Sterling (groin) is a doubt and will face a late fitness test but David Silva (ankle) is ruled out.
Chelsea expect to have Eden Hazard (hip/thigh), Gary Cahill (hip/thigh), and Nemanja Matic (calf/shin) available, but John Terry (calf/shin), Willian, and Loic Remy (groin strain) are doubts.