Premier League: Chelsea and Manchester City Have Followed a Similar Path This Season

Chelsea and City face off Saturday in a battle between two of the Premier League's top teams, and the result could be a major turning point in the title race.

This weekend's marquee Premier League matchup between Manchester City and Chelsea features a battle of two of the top clubs in England. It's a fixture that could be a crucial turning point for both teams -- as well as the title race as a whole.

Chelsea will be looking to secure a result to keep them top of the table while City are looking to steady the ship with a proof-bearing victory.

What's possibly most interesting about Saturday's match is the similarities between the seasons of each club. Both are being spearheaded by new, influential managers who are adjusting to the Premier League, but each side is getting some enticing results in the process.

City Thus Far

Just over two months ago, on September 24th, City had just registered their sixth win in their sixth game of the Premier League season, getting off to a flying start under manager Pep Guardiola. It wasn't all that surprising. Between the quality of talent and financial firepower City possesses -- plus the pedigree of Pep Guardiola -- City looked ready to run away with the title after the first six weeks of matches had ended.

Then came an unlikely 3-3 draw against Celtic in the Champions League. That was followed up with their first competitive loss, a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham. That defeat launched a string of draws and wins, but City have yet to find what they had in the opening weeks of fall.

Goals ScoredGoals ConcededPoints
City's First 6 Games18518
City's Last 7 Games11712

And even with the Citizens taking five points in a four-game stretch over October, a couple of victories have them in third place. They are tied with Liverpool on points and one point behind table-toppers Chelsea, who have dealt with a few issues themselves over the course of the season.

Blues Up to This Point

Chelsea took one point from their three games in September, which featured a loss to Liverpool and a hellacious 3-0 beating from London rivals Arsenal. Manager Antonio Conte couldn't seem to figure out if he wanted to play with an odd number of center backs or stick to the prototypical four-man backline that we see often in the Premier League.

However, once he committed to the Italian back three, the Blues have been flying -- posting seven consecutive victories, an incredible defensive record and moving to the top of the table. Conte has Chelsea looking closer to their title season in 2014-15 than the team that finished 10th in the table last year.

Goals ScoredGoals ConcededPoints
Chelsea's First 6 Games10510
Chelsea's Last 7 Games19121

Looking Ahead

For both managers, the question of whether they would be able to handle the Premier League has been answered -- absolutely they can. Both Conte and Guardiola have shown what their clubs can do when firing on all cylinders, and both clubs will likely be coming in with victory as a goal and the confidence to get that result.

It's still somewhat early, and Arsenal and Liverpool will certainly have some say, but the winner of this match should probably be considered the favorite to take home the league crown.

Chelsea's streak of victories has them top, while City's got one of the world's greatest managers looking over world-class talent at pretty much every position. The season is finally starting to heat up, and Saturday's battle will just add fuel to the fire.