Chelsea v MAN CITY: THE PREVIEW – City’s Probable Team

19 Mar

Man City face a tricky trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as they return to Premier League action just days after exiting European competition. That disappointment will be quickly forgotten in the Citizens can return from London with at least a share of the spoils and although it won’t be the easiest task, our recent record against Chelsea offers encouragement.

We have been victorious in the past three meetings against last season’s champions and although our 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge during the previous campaign will be remembered primarily for the lack of handshake between John Terry and Wayne Bridge, it is worth noting that we completely outplayed Chelsea that day, fully deserving of the three points. A repeat performance tomorrow would be extremely welcome as the battle for Champions League places hots up.

With this game the last one before an international break, despite it arriving only three days after the Dynamo match, I’d expect Roberto Mancini to name his strongest possible available side. Pablo Zabaleta is still in Buenos Aires, caring for his father, so Aleks Kolarov will continue at left-back. The midfield trio of Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Yaya Touré will all have to summon up another 90 minutes – a big ask after they looked exhausted come the final whistle  on Thursday.

The only change I envisage is that of James Milner for Mario Balotelli. The volatile Italian can expect to be dropped following his sending off against Dynamo and he will be lucky with a place on the bench. Although Mancini could feasibly introduce Edin Džeko, I believe Milner will start on the left on a front three, tracking back to help Kolarov and providing support for Tévez, who has scored six times in his past five matches against Chelsea.

Here is City’s probable side:

Manchester City 4-2-3-1 football formation

Chelsea have struggled to reproduce their title winning form this season, but have shown a marked improvement in recent weeks. David Luiz, strongly linked with City, was signed in January and has impressed everyone during his first few games in this league. However, another recent arrival, Fernando Torres, has failed to score since joining from Liverpool and his introduction has meant that either Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba have been forced to sit out. But with everyone fit, they are returning to their best form and it will be a tough match for City.

Referee: Chris Foy – I would have thought Howard Webb or Andre Marriner may have been given this game but Foy is an experienced referee nonetheless. He’s officiated City a couple of times recently and I don’t recall any problems with him so that’s a bonus. But this match will be a challenging one for him.. Let’s hope he’s up to the challenge.

Prediction: Chelsea 1 – 0 MAN CITY – Another negative prediction I’m afraid. It ought to be a tight contest, one with relatively few chances, but I think we may tire towards the end and that may prove fatal. Frank Lampard to score the goal.

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6 Responses to “Chelsea v MAN CITY: THE PREVIEW – City’s Probable Team”

  1. Siamack 19/03/2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Except having a decent left kick, Kolarov is slow on the turn and he lacks positional sense defensively. In other words, he is a big liability as a defence against top class teams like Chelsea. It makes more sense to have Lescott/Zabeleta as left back and pair up Kompany with Boateng. whenever Boateng has played as CB, he has been flawless, and why Mancini do not use him in this position is really beyond my ken.

    • Norfstander 19/03/2011 at 11:17 pm #

      It makes no sense at all to move our most in form player (Lescott).

      You’re right in what you say about Kolarov, he is slow, but you don’t move your centre-halves around to make up for it, it isn’t Football Manager.

      Besides, it’s a myth that Lescott’s good at left-back. He was in his early days at Goodison, but rarely since. He’s looked awful when filling in there for us.

      • MatheosTheBlue 20/03/2011 at 12:55 am #

        Boys, Kolarov is not as bad as your making out. Yes he’s a bit on the slow side, however he has tremendous Defensive sense ( jockey, slide tackling and timing in tackles)… Much if this goes unnoticed, plus gives us good width. Give it time and he will become one of the best left backs in the world- it’s all about development.

      • JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!! 20/03/2011 at 10:52 am #

        That second part of your comment is fabulous. This really isn’t football manager

  2. Michael Briscoe 20/03/2011 at 8:53 am #

    With Milner covering up when hes caught out we might just cope but remember we need someone to back paddle on the opposite side to cover on Cole. Honestly i cannot se Silva doing that so that is why i predict Barry will play on the Left to cover Kolarov and milner on the Right to cope with Cole. I would also consider Dzeko at a later stage in case Siva has the day off and pull Tevez behind him.

  3. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!! 20/03/2011 at 10:52 am #

    MatheosTheBlue >>> I couldnt agree more – he’ll be a star next season

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