Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea stand in their way, with the Blues out to consolidate their place in the top four.
Pep Guardiola could very easily have been in the home dugout in Sarri’s place, had Abramovich got his way.
While appearing on Sky in February 2016, The Times’ Oliver Kay revealed Guardiola had been eyed to replace the sacked Jose Mourinho.
However, Guardiola had already been appointed by City at that point and that meant Massimiliano Allegri and Antonio Conte had emerged as options for Chelsea.
“Allegri and Conte are the two names buzzing around,” Kay told Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement show two-and-a-half years ago.
“Guardiola is the guy Abramovich has been obsessed with for as long as Man City have.
“When it came to it, they were not in the position to get him because they’ve made themselves look an unappealing proposition.
“Allegri is a completely different type of manager.
“He’s obviously a very good manager, but they have been obsessed with Guardiola for a long, long time.
“When are Chelsea going to appoint that manager that sees them through three years, let alone 18 months?
“It just seems with Chelsea that it’s always a case of: ‘Who is available?’ rather than having a plan.”
City have won three of their five fixtures against Chelsea since Guardiola’s appointment.