Manchester City vs. Chelsea – Key Player Battles
We are just in the second week of the Premier League and we are already in for a potential game of the season!
It’s the reigning Champions Chelsea taking on their closest rivals Manchester City at the Etihad stadium in a hope to resurrect their so far mediocre play for the past month or so. ‘Tis the place and it is the right time to show why we deserved to be the Champions of England!
Manchester City, who look to be in an ominous form after the drubbing of West Brom, would clearly look for the 3 points, while Jose Mourinho settling for a draw shouldn’t be a surprise either!
For City, there are numerous players who are capable to turn around the game on their own as is the case with Chelsea. That’s why, it’s gonna be fun watching few of the individual battles in the middle. Let’s look at 3 of them which are most probably going to influence the outcome of this game:
NEMANJA MATIC vs. YAYA TOURE
I have been waiting for it! The battle between the two giants!
Both the players are probably the most physical midfielders, not only in England but even in Europe. While, Yaya Toure likes to bulldoze his way into the opposition box, Nemanja Matic likes to sit back and guard his front four from unwanted attacks! So, a battle between Matic and Toure is definitely on the cards.
Honestly, the form Toure is in, there’s probably no other Chelsea player capable (or physical) enough to stop him from his merry runs, apart from Matic of course. The Serbian made his debut against City earlier last year where he bossed around Toure for the better part of the match thus, announcing his arrival on the world stage.
One and a half-year later, the Serbian is arguably the best DM in the world and we will need all his experience and physicality in dealing with the City ace!
RAHEEM STERLING vs. BRANISLAV IVANOVIC
I wouldn’t have included this as the player battle to watch out for, especially when City have the likes of Aguero and Silva who could be far more lethal, but after Ivanovic’s performance against Swansea, I think this one could well decide the game!
The Serbian Right Back was repeatedly put to shame by Swansea’s winger Montero last week. Ivanovic is one of the most physical Fullback in Europe and it’s next to impossible to deal with him physically but Montero, with his superior pace, was able to cause Ivanovic all sort of problem. In fact, Swansea’s tactic in the second half was simply to get Montero one on one with Ivanovic as he exposed an obvious flaw in Iva’s armor!
So, if the “best Right Back in Premier League” can be troubled against a pacy winger, just imagine the tactics of Pellegrini. Given that, Raheem Sterling is one of the fastest wingers in the Premier League, this could well turn into a nightmare for us. Knowing Mourinho, it would most probably be Ramires starting on the Right Wing to aid Ivanovic on the wings!
EDEN HAZARD vs. PABLO ZABALETA
How can anyone forget the pounding Eden Hazard gave to Zabaleta a couple of years back when the Belgian left the fullback for dead on more than few occasions. Damn! that was hilarious! Can we expect the same tomorrow?
Eden Hazard is probably still not at it’s best, as we could see during the preseason and the game against Swansea although, he did turn up in the second half. The PFA Player of the year is still getting back to full fitness, but that’s not to say he won’t be influential tomorrow. After all, he is Eden Hazard!
The battle between these two players could probably turn out to be the turning point of the game if Hazard is able to get the better of Zabaleta. Fernandinho would most likely aid the Argentinian in closing down Hazard on the wings and stop him from linking with Diego Costa who is not gonna have an easy time against Vincent Kompany either!
So, there you have it. Quite a few battle we have to keep an eye on tomorrow. Hopefully, we can turn around our form in probably one of our toughest match of the season!
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