Looking at the Premier league table at this moment, it sends shiver into any Chelsea fan who knows we are set to play against the league leaders who are in an unstoppable form currently in the premier league. It’s Jose Mourinho vs Manuel Pellegrini yet again in the Premier league and the game is set to be hugely against the odds for the West Londoners who lie in 3rd in the premier league table with 50 points.
And the possibility of dropping 6 points behind Manchester City in February with just 15 games of League game remaining, it’s never easy picking out the tactics for this game even for Jose Mourinho. But, from a perspective of a huge Chelsea fan, I will try to pick out the tactics and starting 11 that, in my opinion, can get the win or even at least a draw at the Etihad on Monday.
Formation: 4-2-3-1 (defensive, fast paced counter attacking while in attack)
This formation is the same as we have used in most games against the big teams except the match we parked the bus against Arsenal at the Emirates looking at least for a draw and not risk going behind against the league leaders then. The 2-1 win against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge earlier this season also saw the same line-up against Pellegrini’s team.
This allows Jose Mourinho’s long time favored style to be implemented with the attacking 3 players behind the striker being crucial to this system as well as the pivot or the defensive anchor men in midfield. Mourinho claimed the reason not to park the bus against the free-scoring opposition at the Etihad.
“We are going to try to win knowing perfectly we can lose or draw. Our intention is to try to win,” he said. “City score goals. Normally, when your approach is very defensive, if you concede a goal you are in trouble. Or you have to make changes during the game and you never know how the players adapt to it.”
His words can be summarized by the notion of the best form of defense is attack. That is a great tactic to follow and we must show that we can go to Etihad and win not trying to defend. It’s will be beneficial though to press-high up the pitch as Mourinho’s Chelsea have done pretty much this season and not close back down and defend.
GK: Petr Cech
Easy said and done with this selection. With the amount of clean sheets he has been racing up this season by itself, the Great Pete is in full confidence and in great form to stop the fire power of Negredo and Dzeko up top for City.
Back four: Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta
This defense is arguably the best in the premier league this season as it has proven to be a huge element for Mourinho’s transformation of the Blues from last season’s top 4 hopefuls to this season league challengers. Ivanovic will give a huge balance of going forward and also defending in solid form while Manchester City are in attack.
The two CBs should be Gary Cahill and John Terry right there with no much need of explanation. The two Englishmen have been in superb form this season and there partnership has restricted to strikers like Luis Suarez and Olivier Giroud having just two shots on target against the Blues in two matches. They are the main reason Petr Cech has racked up many clean sheets this season and Mourinho has surely made Chelsea unbeatable in some ways with this back line.
At left back, we have Cesar Azpilicueta as his speed and agility in defense helps deal very well with his countrymen for our opponents Jesus Navas. The Spaniard’s will go head-to-head at the Etihad pitch on the left flank of our defense and Mourinho will surely be confidence on Azpilicueta to stop all attacks that come from the right wing of their scary attacks.
Pivot: David Luiz and Ramires
This two Brazilians will be key in providing a huge tackling ability and energy in the middle of the park where the Citizens of Manchester come to haunt you. The pace and drive of both Luiz and Ramires will surely stop the threat that is posed by the two middle men of Manchester City Yaya Toure and Fernandinho.
The two have played in that position against Manchester United at Stamford bridge just a while ago as we run out 3-1 victors on home ground. This two will be doing the exact same thing against Manchester City with evidently a bigger threat being posed compared to that of the reds of Manchester who are in poor and desperate form.
Attacking midfielders: Hazard, Oscar, Willian
This trio has been in an unstoppable form and Mourinho will hugely look into creating a free role for Eden Hazard who has been in superb form this season in terms of goals and assists. His evolution this season has been admired by Jose Mourinho himself. The other two Brazilians will have a huge role of feeding the striker and Hazard good balls so they can exploit the back four of Man City and create a chance to score. Oscar is likely in the run to be in the PFA team of the year and also for Chelsea’s player of the year as he is having a superb season under Jose Mourinho
Willian and Hazard’s pace up and down the wings will surely be crucial to the way we can create openings and pose a threat onto Joe Hart’s goal.
Striker: Samuel Eto’o
Fernando Torres will surely be missed on this fixture after his man of the match performance at Stamford Bridge sealed a victory against Manchester City earlier in the season. The Cameroonian compatriot of Torres though has notched a hat-trick against Manchester United recently and he is set to embarrass their noisy neighbors also at the Etihad on Monday. His movement between small areas of the pitch will be crucial to Chelsea finding spaces and areas to exploit from Manchester City’s tight defense composed of Kompany and Demechellis.
Here’s how my line-up would look like against Manchester City and feel free to comment and letting me know your opinion about this. Hope you enjoyed the article and good luck to Jose Mourinho’s men for this crucial match against the league leaders.