Premier League Preview: Manchester City v Chelsea

Premier League leaders Manchester City host Chelsea on Monday in a clash between the division's most potent attack and its meanest defence.

A trip to the Etihad Stadium has become the most daunting prospect in English football, with City having won 17 of their 18 games there in all competitions this season - scoring an incredible 72 goals in the process.

Manuel Pellegrini's men have won all 11 of their Premier League fixtures on home soil this term, finding the net 42 times, and their scoring exploits continued on the road in midweek as they hammered Tottenham 5-1 at White Hart Lane.

That result took City's total Premier League goal tally to 68 in 23 matches, and a run of eight consecutive top-flight victories has lifted them a point above Arsenal at the top of the table.

Chelsea, though, sit only three points adrift of City in third on the back of just one defeat in their last 13 Premier League outings - and much of their success this term has been built on their resilient defence.

Jose Mourinho's side have conceded just three times in eight top-flight fixtures since their last loss at Stoke City on December 7, and have let in only 20 goals in 23 games this season while keeping nine clean sheets.

Monday's match represents the first of two visits to the Etihad in the space of 12 days for Chelsea, as they will also travel to Manchester for an FA Cup fifth-round tie on February 15.

And Mourinho has insisted he has no intention of simply attempting to avoid defeat in either game.

"Chelsea try to win every game," said the Portuguese.

"We are not going to change our philosophy. We are going in a certain direction, and just because we are playing a certain opponent doesn't mean we are going to change that."

Chelsea can take heart from the fact they beat City 2-1 in the reverse fixture in October courtesy of Fernando Torres' last-gasp winner.

Torres will miss this encounter with a knee problem, as will City's goalscorer on that occasion, Sergio Aguero, who is sidelined after picking up a hamstring problem in the win at Tottenham.

Samir Nasri (knee) and Javi Garcia (knock) are both also unavailable to Pellegrini.

With the exception of Torres and long-term absentee Marco van Ginkel (knee), Mourinho has a fully fit squad to choose from, and new signing Mohamed Salah could be in line for his debut - likely from the bench.