Back to the grind!
Chelsea take on Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as the fixture kick’s off the Premier League weekend. Chelsea sit top of the table thanks to the alphabet while City sit 5th in the table having won 3 drawn 1 and lost 1 in the league this season. City lost to Spurs in their first game while they drew against Southampton last weekend which has led them 3 points behind the top 3. In the middle it looked like missing out on a striker was not going to be a problem but the last game against Southampton showed that City can hit the roadblock. Against Wycombe Pep managed to rest several players but also gave the likes of Foden, De Bruyne, and Sterling game time with all impressing. City have also just conceded the one goal this season so defensively they are still very good it is up front where they can be free scoring one day and lacklustre the next.
Chelsea go into this game having beaten Villa on penalties in the Carabao Cup. Against Villa Tuchel made some changes to give important players some game time and they head into this game riding high on confidence. Solid defensively, scoring goals up front the only sticky issue in recent games has been how Chelsea start games. Against Villa and Spurs we lacked initiative in the first 45 but had stellar 2nd half’s. That needs to change and return back to dominating games from minute 1. Now of course this game will be different because it’s Man City and you can expect Tuchel will stick to what we know best and handle them the way we did in the previous 3 meetings. That brings us to the 2nd problem which has been the front three clicking. The key is to get the combination right up front and that is where Tuchel and Chelsea could potentially win the game. The presence of Lukaku will also be massive and it will be an interesting battle with the likes of Dias who Havertz seems to really get the better of.
Chelsea Team Preview
I am writing this preview early so I am not sure about the availability of Mendy and Pulisic. Regardless I don’t think Pulisic would start if he was back while Mendy could start but Kepa has performed well. Kepa will start if Mendy is not fit, the back three should be Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Reece James was brilliant against Villa and I would start him but Azpi was rested and will be raring to go. Jorginho, and Kante should start in the midfield but Kovacic was also rested and could start. Up front Lukaku and Werner have to start because they have looked bright together and we have created our best chances with both of them on the pitch. The final decision comes between Havertz, and Mount. Mount came on against Villa and played brilliantly but Havertz was rested for the whole game and will want to play against City. I feel like Havertz, and Mount will start with Werner coming off the bench in the 2nd half. Werner also had a slight niggle in his calf. The key though is that Mount, and Havertz will have to be on their A pressing game to provide the threat up front. No more lazy performances. It’s a solid team and one that is performing at a very high level at the moment.
Man City Team Preview
City have stuck with a 4-3-3 this season and I don’t expect Pep to switch it up this time. Ederson should start in goal with a back four of Cancelo, Dias, Stones, and Walkers. Ake and Laporte have started games alongside Dias so they could play in place of Stones. Rodri, Gundogan, and De Bruyne should start in midfield with Grealish, Torres, and Jesus up front. Jesus has been good on the right hand side while Grealish has gotten better with every passing game. The problem remains though that City are missing that traditional striker and that can be a problem at times for them. The worst thing for City would be if Pep tinkered once again for this game.
Starting XI Prediction
Tuchel has a couple of selection headaches to deal with but regardless of who he selects the player on the pitch has the talent to pull off the job. It’s a big game with fans back and it will be an amazing atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. Can Tuchel and Chelsea make it four in a row against Pep and Man City? I think we can, COME ON CHELSEA!!!