One of the biggest games of the season!
3rd placed Chelsea take on 4th placed City in probably Chelsea’s biggest game of the season till now. Reigning champions City are facing problems this season as they sit 9 points behind Liverpool and 1 point behind Leicester and Chelsea having lost 2 of their last 5 games. Pep is facing problems and defensive injuries have not helped his cause while they just seem to lack their ruthlessness as was evident against Liverpool. Norwich, and Liverpool were losses away from home but Wolves beat city 0-2 and convincingly at the Etihad just a few weeks ago. Pep though will be hurting after his loss to Liverpool and maybe its a good thing that there was a break before Chelsea faced them.
City started the season well with big win at West Ham but a draw against Spurs followed that saw them fall behind Liverpool. The loss against Norwich 3 weeks later was even more damaging, and while wins followed that result a 2nd loss against Wolves only made matters worse. The game against Liverpool was do or die in many respects especially under the current circumstances and a loss could not be avoided. Losses aside though City just have not looked like themselves this season and while they are still winning games, Pep and his team are there for the taking.
Chelsea go into this game having won our last 6 games in the league since our loss to Liverpool at the Bridge. The youth have been flying high especially away from home but at home we have struggled at times. Perhaps it is a good thing then that this game is away from home and we also beat the mighty Ajax in Amsterdam so there is lots of motivation to draw from. We usually manage to beat City at least once a season but we have not won at the Etihad since the 16/17 season and so a win would be a welcome result.
Chelsea Team Preview
Chelsea have no major injury concerns with RLC, and Rudiger being the major misses. There are question marks over the fitness of Pulisic but I expect him to start this game and if he does not then Hudson-Odoi would be raring to go. Kepa should start in goal, and I would start Reece James at right back especially given the pace of City’s forwards. Azpilicueta could start but I would be worried with him not being able to match the pace. Zouma, Tomori, and Emerson should make up the defence with Jorginho, Kante, and Kovacic making up the midfield. Mount could start in place of Kante or Kovacic though or Mount could start as a winger with Pulisic and CHO on the bench. It all depends on how defensive or attack minded Lampard wants to be. Tammy and Willian should make up the other places. I can’t see Mount being benched for this game and so I feel that Kante might be dropped for this game.
Man City Team Preview
City have a defensive crisis and so Fernandinho will probably be back in defence with Stones partnering him. Otamendi is available but I just cant see the Argentine starting. The rest are all ready to go for Pep and so the likes of Aguero, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Sterling etc should all be starting against Chelsea. Pep will be wary of Chelsea though and the midfield battle will be intense. The formation should be a variation of 4-2-3-1, or 4-3-3.
Starting XI Prediction
Chelsea have lost 4-0 to Manchester United, drawn 1-1 against Leicester, and lost 1-2 against Liverpool in the league this season and so this is a big game and big test for our young team. We have shown massive improvement since that defeat to Liverpool and I believe we can beat this City side. I expect three points but it wont be easy, COME ON YOU BLUES!!!