Chelsea vs Manchester City – Key Player Battles
Brace yourselves folks! For it’s the current champions Manchester City, who would be visiting us at Stamford Bridge tomorrow in what could potentially be a Premier League title decider!
Manuel Pellegrini’s men currently sit 5 points behind Chelsea in the league table and a win would see them close the gap to just 2 points. After a slow start to their season’s campaign the Citizens picked up ominous form around the Christmas time which saw them, at one point, tied with Chelsea at league table. Although, after the departure of Yaya Toure to AFCON and some niggling injuries to their star players including Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri, the current Champions have become vulnerable in past few matches accounting for their recent bad form.
Jose Mourinho’s men, on the other hand, have had a very forgettable month of January. Conceding 10 goals in 5 games, can mildly be defined as a “very unmourinho like” performance. The Blues have looked a bit out of sort but so has been the current Champions. A win at Bridge tomorrow will all but seal the deal for the Blues while a draw wouldn’t be a bad result either. With Costa suspended for this fixture we are definitely a bit light at the front but there’s still enough talent on the pitch for some epic player battles tomorrow.
Here are a certain few which we think might influence the outcome of this game:
DAVID SILVA vs NEMANJA MATIC
The “maestro”, the “Creator”, in fact one of the best player at his position; David Silva will be one of the most important player for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the absence of Toure and Nasri when they visit Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
The Spaniard has mostly been starting on the wings for the Citizens as of late. Silva’s ability to cut inside from the wings with “Hazardesque” dribbling skill and the defense splitting “Fabregastic” killer passes is what makes him one of the top most talents in the world. If Chelsea is in fact serious in going 8 points clear tomorrow, this certain Spaniard will have to be kept on leash for the full 90 minutes and for the Blues; who else to trust for the job but a certain Serbian in the midfield.
If you can remember the last season when Nemanja Matic made his debut for Chelsea at the Bridge, it was Serbian who bullied the Spaniard all game long as we overcame a high flying Citizens with a late Torres goal. The plan would be more or less similar this time around as Pellegrini’s men, badly in need for a win, would come at us in full flow and David Silva, no doubt, would act as the catalyst for the visitors. If Matic can keep the Spaniard in check for the majority of the game, we most probably are en route to the PL title, if not, we are in for an epic match. Nevertheless, do look out for this battle folks, as it promises to be the most exciting one!
EDEN HAZARD vs PABLO ZABALETA
I still remember the game between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge last season. And I so fondly remember Eden Hazard destroying Pablo Zabaleta on the wings. The same Pablo Zabaleta, who was described before the game, as the “best Right Back in the Premier League “!
But that’s what the Belgian does to you, doesn’t he? When he is in form, he destroys your reputation by causing a damn carnage on the pitch while leaving the opposition fullback into bits and pieces, no matter how good he is! Come tomorrow, a similar performance might be required from the Belgian when he comes up against Pablo Zabaleta on the wings. In the absence of Diego Costa who is suspended because FA is awesome, Eden Hazard has to take the responsibility of causing problems in the visitors defense which of course he is perfectly capable of doing!
Pablo Zabaleta has declined a lot from last year. The once, “best in the league” is still good enough to start regularly for City but, frankly, even City fans will tell you, the Argentine has dropped a level this year. With the responsibility to control Hazard, the fullback has to be at his very best and even that may not be enough when he comes up against the Belgian tomorrow making this battle an exciting one to watch out for!
OSCAR vs FERNANDO
With Diego Costa suspended for this fixture and Cesc Fabregas probably out due to the hamstring injury, it all falls down to Oscar at the Bridge tomorrow. With a job to consistently press the opposition up front, helping Matic and Ramires in the deep whenever possible, being regularly involved in the attack, break down plays, draw fouls, try to create and score, the Brazilian has to be reasonably busy when he starts tomorrow. Or, as we all say, a typical day in office for Oscar!
“Here, there and everywhere” is how we fondly describe our No.10 when he is in full flow and the Brazilian has to be at his very best when he comes up against his counterpart at the Bridge tomorrow evening.
Playing as a DM for the Citizens, Fernando will have the job to contain/bully Oscar in the midfield when he comes up against him. Manuel Pellegrini’s men will most probably revert this fixture into an intense physical battle as was the case at Etihad earlier in the season and with Mark Clattenburg referring this game, we might also be in for a few bookings. This battle between Fernando and Oscar is surely going to be tough and intense one so, please do look out for it when you support Chelsea tomorrow.
See you with an 8 points lead! KTBFFH!
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt