Thursday, December 8, 2022

Chelsea Vs Manchester City Tactical Preview: Talking Tactics, Team News And Key Men

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

With the Premier League now back in full flow, albeit without fans being allowed into the stadium, teams from all over the table have been working hard towards their targets and ambitions for the season. Reigning champions Manchester City have resumed the campaign with two comfortable wins against Arsenal and Burnley. They will be looking to make it three on the trot when they travel to an empty Stamford Bridge to take on Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

From a Manchester City perspective, the result of this fixture wouldn’t have too much of an impact on the table itself, with the title race now well and truly past their reach. On the other hand, a win for Chelsea could have telling effects on their hopes for the season. Third place Leicester City have drawn both their games so far, meaning that a home win would take the Blues within a point of the Foxes in third. Meanwhile, a defeat would hand Manchester United and Wolves the opportunity to close the gap to fourth place back down to two points.

Here Is The Chelsea Vs Manchester City Tactical Preview

Chelsea Vs Manchester City Tactical Preview - Mahrez celebrates his goal
Manchester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring the second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Burnley at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on June 22, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)

Chelsea Vs Manchester City Tactical Preview

Talking Tactics

Chelsea

Frank Lampard could look to set his team up one of two ways for this match. The first possibility would be that he switches the formation to a three at the back, to add more defensive cover. This would entail the Blues to play a more counter-attacking style of football – well-suited to the players that Chelsea have at their disposal. The alternative – a much more risky approach, would involve the London club going all out to try and win the match from the start. City haven’t been at their best defensively since the beginning of the season, and trying to exploit that, albeit risky, could prove to be the way to go.

Manchester City

There is next to no mystery surrounding the tactics that Pep Guardiola’s side are likely to utilise for this match or any league match in the future for that matter. Expect the Citizens to dominate possession for the entirety of the fixture completely, and also create a load of chances across regular intervals. The City midfielders will likely control the tempo of the game with their passing and movement, and the full-backs could be given the freedom to bombard forward on every possible opportunity.

Team News

Chelsea

Callum Hudson-Odoi picked up a training injury after the resumption of the Premier League and is hence unlikely to play any part in this fixture. Reece James missed out on starting in Sunday’s win against Aston Villa, and could thus be brought back into the side for this match. Christian Pulisic is another name that had been left out from the eleven last weekend but came on and had an impact, meaning that he’s also likely to return. Jorginho, who had been suspended following his tenth yellow card, is also set to come back into the team.

Predicted Lineup: Kepa; James, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Kovacic, Jorginho, Kante, Mount, Abraham, Pulisic

Chelsea Vs Manchester City Tactical Preview - Pulisic celebrates a goal
Chelsea’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (C) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on June 21, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP) /

Manchester City

The Citizens recently suffered the gutting loss of Argentine forward Sergio Aguero. The talismanic striker has been the undoing of Chelsea in various league fixtures between the sides in the past, and his absence will almost certainly force Gabriel Jesus back into the eleven. Eric Garcia has suffered from a concussion and is unlikely to play any part in the match on Thursday night. Elsewhere, John Stones could return to the side from a slight ankle problem, while Phil Foden’s knock isn’t severe enough to keep him out of the picture either.

Predicted Lineup: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Rodri; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling

Key Men

Chelsea

Christian Pulisic is the man that came on and changed the complexion of the Blues’ tie against Aston Villa on the weekend. Although the American is sure to have an important part to play, the most key player for Chelsea could be Jorginho. The Italian is set to play his first game back after the COVID-19 break, and his passing and forward distribution could prove to be vital to the Blues’ attacking ambitions.

Manchester City

For all the sensational goals they’ve scored this season, it must be conceded that defence has been a position of concern for Pep Guardiola. The return of Aymeric Laporte is sure to have a positive impact, but the real game-changer in this side is undoubtedly Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian was rested and only appeared as a substitute against Burnley, and his attacking play could have a massive influence over the final result of this fixture.

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