Trio likely to plan again On paper, Chelsea’s first choice three-man midfield of Kante, Jorginho and Kovacic looks awesome but it’s shape is designed to safeguard rather than adventure.
Against Fulham last weekend, it was bossy and efficient but should it be retained against the adventurous David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Illkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez, it could be an open invitation to aggression. Guardiola’s joy footballers are fun lovers who cherish a challenge and thrive in seemingly zero spaces.
With 32 goals shared between their attacking midfield, Sarri is better advised to go for the kill himself. This is the only way to keep City on the back foot. Despite the lackof game time this season, this is the kind of game that Cesc Fabregas, Victor Moses and Ross Barkley would thrive in. Fabregas for his creativity and incision, Barkley for his game intelligence and attacking potency, Moses for his versatility and work rate.
With Willian and Hazard deployed alongside them, Chelsea would possess the attacking threat which like Liverpool has shown many times before, is sure to curtail City’s excesses out of respect for the opposition.Hazard’s seven goals and five assists make him Chelsea’s crown jewel but far too often his levels of consistency go down because of a supporting cast that is not in tandem with his best qualities.
With better service that is guaranteed by Fabregas’ vision,Willian’s invention and Moses’ industry, Hazard would spend more time roaming the precincts of the final third and in so doing preserving his energy and worrying the marauding defenders; Benjamin Mendy and Cesar Azplicueta. But as we have seen in games where Chelsea have struggled, Kovacic, Jorginho and Kante are too similar in style.
Their first instincts are caution, protecting and defending. They muzzle, break up play, track back and cajole. To break down City, Chelsea will need to put them under duress by applying their own attacking menace from the wing backs and midfield.Indecision has been Sarri’s biggest undoing thus far. The approach in big games His team spent too much time chasing Spurs who opted for aggression from the start. Boldness is key in these big encounters.
Having already beaten Arsenal, Spurs, United and taken a point off Liverpool, the Premier League will hold it’s breath and see whether the last of the titans, Chelsea, can throw stones in City’s path. With 45 goals scored already and a record breaking 38 goals difference in 15 games set, City could prove unassailable if they don’t get checked now.
Claims that the Premier League is the most competitive league in Europe are being put under serious test after City won the league a whopping 19 points above second placed United last season, the same number of points they now lead United after just 15 matches this season. United used to be the benchmark.