Manchester City Forum - Chelsea v Manchester City - 5.30pm Sat 30th Sept - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
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Chelsea v Manchester City - 5.30pm Sat 30th Sept - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
28 September 2017 07:19 Post ID: #607429
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Preview

After securing their best ever start in the Champions League on Tuesday - 6 points from the first 2 games - City head south to face the Champions in what promises to be a humdinger of a match and their first real test against genuine title contenders.

Since their surprise opening day defeat at The Bridge against Burnley, Conte’s men have gotten things well back on track and have won 6 and drawn 1 of the subsequent fixtures in all competitions. Whilst City have been setting records in the league with their goal scoring, Chelsea haven’t been slouches in this regard themselves having netted 17 times in their last 6 matches prior to including the EFL Cup and the Champions League. They will certainly be on a high after their last minute winner against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday evening.

Pep’s delight at having secured a hard fought victory on Tuesday evening against Shakhtar Donetsk will have been tinged with some chagrin at the sight of Benjamin Mendy on crutches and with his right knee in a heavy brace following his trip to Barcelona for a consultation with leading orthopaedic surgeon and trusted specialist, Dr Ramon Cugat. The full details of his injury and the length of his absence have yet to be confirmed but the indications from Guardiola were not promising with the possibility that he could be sidelined for ‘months’.

Make no mistake this is a serious blow to Pep and City’s ambitions. Since gaining match fitness Mendy has demonstrated with his lightning fast breaks and superb crossing ability just what a threat he poses to opposing defences and his absence threatens to unbalance the dynamic in the team that has been so evident this season. Notwithstanding the excellent shift put in by Fabian Delph in midweek there is clearly no direct replacement for a player who was specifically recruited to complement Kyle Walker on the opposite wing. Whether City will be quite as able to stretch opponents and create the same space inside for the lock-pickers De Bruyne and the two Silva’s to exploit could be the defining question of the next phase of this season’s campaign.

After a number of matches where Pep has deployed a back four, this match could well see City return to three centre halves as he faces up to the team that made this ‘fashionable’ again in the Premier League last season. Clearly Pep would prefer to use Vincent Kompany alongside Stones and Otamendi but the club captain’s availability remains shrouded in mystery as he appears to have acquired a permanently shifting ‘return date’ following his injury during the last international break. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make himself available to play for Belgium in the international break which follows this league match……..only to compound his injury and come back to City unavailable once again. I cannot help but feel that Guardiola was intensely disappointed at Kompany’s latest ‘knock’ and that as such the bond of trust developed between him and Pep was damaged. The coach clearly wants to avoid a repetition of the enforced chopping, changing and instability in his defensive line up which was created by Kompany’s on-off fitness last season.

Much as I hate to say it I can see dark clouds are gathering over the Kompany’s participation this season and potentially his playing future at the club.

However, nature abhors a vacuum and in Kompany’s absence however what we have seen is a growth in confidence and maturity from John Stones. Lambasted and undermined by the media last season despite being parachuted into a new team and faced with a constant cycling of central defensive partners, this young man has stepped up and begun to show just exactly what he was brought to the club for - calm assurance, good judgement, solid interventions and taking command at the back. We may have a future captain in this lad.

Talking of shoving their words back down the media’s throats……..Raheem Sterling seems to have rediscovered the confidence and ability which also brought him to attention and led to praise being heaped upon him by the media before he joined City. This was before the knives came out and they set about to corrode this confidence and doubt his ability after had the temerity to leave The People’s Champions. It is great to see him demonstrate what an asset he can be to this squad and credit in this regard must go not only to the young man’s resilience but to his coach whose confidence in him is paying dividends.

After fluffing a golden opportunity from 12 yards in midweek to equal Eric Brook’s long standing City goal scoring record, Sergio Aguero will get another opportunity to consolidate his name in the club’s history books on Saturday. It will come of that there is no doubt and I hope soon because the longer it drags on the greater the pressure will grow, however subtly, and this can lead to him trying just a bit too hard at the risk of undoing all the good work witnessed recently in his provision of assists for team mates in better positions to score. Time to get this monkey off your back Sergio and make your own records.

This job may be made easier for Sergio given the absence from the Chelsea side this weekend of Sideshow Bob. He always, always manages to get underneath Sergio’s skin and the Argentinian may just be able to relax just a bit more and let his game flow. Morata has settled in very quickly for Chelsea and will need careful watching. I for one am not sad to see the back of the permanently miserable and petulant Diego Costa from their ranks - his constant need to pick fights depressed me. Hazard is back for Conte’s side so I fully expect Otamendi to collect a yellow card when he trips him on the edge of our penalty area.

This is a serious test of City’s title credentials. In recent years we have not done the business regularly enough against our main rivals and for all the ‘statements’ that the Sky Blues have made with their free flowing football and goal scoring feats in recent weeks, this is going to be the first real ‘acid test’ of those title credentials so far this season.

Time to show the footballing world what we are really capable of.

Come on City!!!

Opponent to watch

Alvaro Morata - the Spanish forward has hit the ground running and has 6 goals and 2 assists already to his name in 6 league appearances so far. As a replacement for Diego Costa he certainly seems to be filling the boots and doing so without the snarling and petulant behaviour.

Match Officials

Referee - Martin ‘I didn’t see it’ Atkinson
Assistants - Lee Betts; Stephen Child
Fourth Official - Andre Mariner

Stats** comparison (Premier League):-

Chelsea

Goals per game - 2
Avg Possesion - 52.5%
Pass Accuracy - 72.3%
Shots per game - 13.7
Discipline - 12Y, 3R

City

Goals per game - 3.5
Avg Possesion - 64.7%
Pass Accuracy - 88.6%
Shots per game - 19.7
Discipline - 12Y, 2R

**Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Team News

Chelsea will be without Luiz as he finishes his domestic suspension. Probably just as well given how he and Sergio always seem to create a bit of ‘tension’. Drinkwater is sidelined with a calf problem.

City will be missing their flying full back Benjamin Mendy after his knee injury appeared to be worse than at first feared. This is a major blow not only for this game but for the dynamic that had been building. Kompany’s availability remains a mystery and with each game he misses the clods over his future and contribution this season grow ever darker. Gundogan is available.


Potential starting XI, subs & formation

Ederson

Danilo, Stones, Otamendi,

Walker, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva D, Delph

G Jesus, Aguero

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Toure, Gundogan, Silva B, Sané, Sterling
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28 September 2017 10:48 Post ID: #607439 - in reply to #607429
Chief Forum Editor
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That should have been Fourth Official - Andre Mariner (I didn't see it either). A top review that would put the paid media to shame.

I concur with your thoughts on Kompany and the big lad should consider giving up his international duties to extend his Club career but he is old enough to make his mind up. Pep cannot wait forever on Vincent and must press on. I think he underestimates the value of Mangala and instead of bringing him on against Palace he chose to reshuffle the back four after losing Ben Mendy and introduced Delph instead.

Whilst a top left back is now a priority in January if, Mendy is going to be out for sometime, but also a centre back, because what is the point of having one on the bench and not using him when needed.

However even though I have won all there is to win on Championship Manager, more Titles than Pep I might add, he is the one that gets paid real money to do the job.

Conte is moaning at the schedule, he didn't moan in the last round, where he got to play Tuesday at home and then Arsenal at home 5 days later. whereas Arsenal played on the Thursday and Chelsea had two days extra. He should have our schedule, we have been up and down the country like a brides nightie.

A tough match and Chelsea were value for money against Athletico, perhaps the presence of Costa in the crowd was an added incentive.

on the fence with this but i think we may surprise them.
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28 September 2017 11:04 Post ID: #607440 - in reply to #607429
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Last season I think we played well against the Champions, but we had no points to show for it. We need to at least to come home with a draw. As ever I look forward to see what team Pep picks, but I don't think he will use Delph at Left Back, or play three Cb's. As for our club captain he remains our best defender by a mile and should play if fit.
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28 September 2017 11:05 Post ID: #607441 - in reply to #607429
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On Conte moaning

Welcome to the reality of juggling Premier League and European football Tony.

I think he's right but we've been here before with a number of managers moaning about this type of scheduling to the press, they're pissing against the wind and more often than not they're just accused of having ready made excuses should their performances not come up to scratch.

It's something the FA/Premier League need to address though as it puts their member clubs at a disadvantage to their European rivals who generally seemed to be looked after in this regard.
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28 September 2017 12:45 Post ID: #607444 - in reply to #607429
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Conte isn't the only one moaning about the schedule. No prizes for guessing who's been at it again when things don't suit him....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/09/26/jose-mourinho-angere...

I notice he has failed to mention the extra day his side will get after a home CL tie on the Tuesday (5th Dec) before the derby the following weekend whilst City face a 3,000m round trip flight and are playing in the frozen wastes of Kharkiv, Ukraine on the Wednesday evening.

Funny that.

You are right BD - the schedule is what it is and the PL/FA ought to be a bit more constructive in their approach. After all the better all PL teams do in Europe, the higher the coefficient and the greater the chances of retaining the 4 CL slots. I am hacked off that we get to schlep all the way to Eastern Europe in December whilst the rags did it in September. Just hope the derby is re-scheduled to the Sunday.

In respect of Kompany - I would love to see him fit and playing and agree with Buzz that it is perhaps time he gave up his international duties if he wants to extend his career, but with the World Cup looming that ain't going to happen. I got the impression that Pep was pissed off that the individual training regime designed for Vincent was disregarded or not followed whilst he was away and fitting in with the Belgium squad training perhaps. But I just have the impression that Pep cannot wait forever on his fitness and if looking to build something at City he mey not be prepared to jeopardise it if Kompany breaks down again. As for not using Mangala....a bit baffling but I can only presume that the days of being a specialist in one single role are no longer going to fit in Pep's vision. The way in which we have seen Stones step into midfield and stay there for longer than you might expect, or the full backs 'invert' into central midfield........it emphasises for me how much he values flexibility & versatility & maybe Elaquim hasn't demonstrated enough of that ....yet.
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29 September 2017 03:07 Post ID: #607466 - in reply to #607429
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Reports Kun in hospital, have we shot a robin!!
http://www.football-italia.net/110577/report-aguero-fractures-rib
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29 September 2017 07:19 Post ID: #607471 - in reply to #607429
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We have doen something to upset the Gods for sure
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29 September 2017 07:58 Post ID: #607472 - in reply to #607429
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Hope this is but we have surely enough back ups.
By the way what is a "dinger ". Is it a baby humdinger?
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29 September 2017 08:25 Post ID: #607482 - in reply to #607429
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All of Pep’s carefully laid plans for the weekend torn to shreds
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29 September 2017 08:42 Post ID: #607485 - in reply to #607482
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Skoorb - 29/9/2017 20:25

All of Pep’s carefully laid plans for the weekend torn to shreds


C'mon my old mate, we have enough talent to give them a good hiding.
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29 September 2017 08:49 Post ID: #607487 - in reply to #607429
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I know. Just gutted at this latest blow. Big chance for other to step up but it is a significant threat to our chances, reduces Pep’s options in respect of rotation and rest for the forwards
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29 September 2017 10:43 Post ID: #607508 - in reply to #607429
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In the light of the news concerning Sergio Agüero a rethink is required for the predicted starting XI....

The original pick was three at the back based on Pep matching up Conte’s anticipated use of the same set up. But the loss of Agüero may cause a change in approach.

So here goes with the second version sans Sergio.....

Ederson

Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

Gundogan, Fernandinho,

Silva D, De Bruyne, Sané

G Jesus,

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Toure, Danilo, Silva B, Sterling, Diaz
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29 September 2017 15:50 Post ID: #607521 - in reply to #607429
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City may not be alone in suffering an injury blow to a striker.......Morata was apparently seen limping 'through the mix zone' after the victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

I expect him to start.

http://www.101greatgoals.com/news/good-man-city-chelsea-star-limped...
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29 September 2017 16:57 Post ID: #607525 - in reply to #607429
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He was good at going don, and don't let the limp fool you, he will be running round like Usain Bolt come Saturday evening.

Time for Jesus to step up to the plate.
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30 September 2017 00:46 Post ID: #607534 - in reply to #607429
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My 17

Ederson, Walker, Danilo, Stones, Otamendi, Fernie, D Silva, B Silva, De Bruyne, Sane, G Jesus

Mangala, Gundogan, Delph, Toure, Sterling, B Diaz
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30 September 2017 06:34 Post ID: #607536 - in reply to #607534
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What weakens us strengthens them, but I believe we will beat them because overall we have the better players. I've gone for a narrow in in my BTC.



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30 September 2017 09:12 Post ID: #607538 - in reply to #607429
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The City squad for today’s crunch match....

Goalkeepers: 1. Claudio Bravo, 31. Éderson Moraes

Defenders: 2. Kyle Walker, 3. Danilo Luiz, 5. John Stones, 15. Eliaquim Mangala, 24. Tosin Adarabioyo, 30. Nicolas Otamendi

Midfielders: 8. Ilkay Gundogan, 17. Kevin De Bruyne, 18. Fabian Delph, 19. Leroy Sané, 20. Bernardo Silva, 21. David Silva, 25. Fernandinho, 42. Yaya Touré, 47. Phil Foden

Forwards: 7. Raheem Sterling, 33. Gabriel Jesus, 55. Brahim Díaz
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