After almost 3 months of no footballing action at the Bridge, the boys in blue will be finally seen back tonight as they face the defending champions Manchester City in matchweek 31 of the Premier League. After a brilliant comeback in the last fixture against Aston Villa, confidence in the camp will be surely high and the boys will be looking to give a tough competition to their counterpart tonight. The Blues are currently 4th on the league table and are also 2 points clear of the 5th placed Manchester United, with a game in hand.
With only few league fixtures left in this season, the objective must be to retain the top 4 position and seal the UCL qualification spot. Last time these two sides met, Guardiola experienced the lowest ever possession in his top flight managerial career history which will be surely something that Frank Lampard’s Blues will be trying to replicate in tonight’s high voltage clash.
Key takeaways from Frank’s pre-match press conference this week were; Gaffer when asked about the team news and injuries mentioned that Tomori and Callum Hudson-Odoi are still few weeks away from matchday fitness. He also stated that he was very delighted for Willian and Pedro for their respective contract extensions till the end of the season, mentioning them to be very important players for the team. When asked about the transfer speculation regarding Kai Havertz, Frank stated that he is a top player but there were no official bids from the club regarding the same player. When asked about Liverpool being the favourites to win the title if the blues were to beat City in tonight’s game, Frank lauded what Liverpool had done in this season but also stated that the primary focus is to try and win against ManCity.
Frank when asked about the situation of chasing down Leicester City who are currently 3rd in the league table stated that the competition is fierce and there are tough games still left to come and hence the focus should only be on his own team and not on others. Finally when asked about a chance to test the current squad against Man City, Frank stated that every game is an opportunity to see the growth of the team, but against City, it would be a great opportunity for the squad to prove themselves as the objective of team is also to close the gap and reach at that level as well.
Both the sides have met on 164 occasions in all the competitions with Chelsea registering 67 wins against City’s tally of 58 wins along with 39 draws. Even though, in recent years this fixture has not given us the results that we wanted, but things eventually do turn around at some point and we hope that the results come in our favour soon.
Chelsea are expected to play in 4-3-3 formation against Manchester City tonight. The midfield will be the focal point of Chelsea’s press and build up play against a fast and dominant Man City team. Lampard already hinted some changes in the squad before tonight’s high voltage clash against Man City. This is the team we can expect for tonight’s game:
Photo Courtesy: www.buildlineup.com
Christian Pulisic: After putting a top class performance coming off the bench against Villa in the last game, hopes are very high on our Captain America. With his amazing pace and sublime skills, goals and assists are very much expected from our star playmaker tonight.
Cesar Azpilicueta: Having been a great leader on and off the pitch, the responsibilities would be very high on our skipper to command our defensive duties at the back and also to provide support to the counter attacks by providing crucial ball-ins inside the opponent’s box.
N’golo Kante: A big man for a big stage. Always gives his best in all our games and tonight will be a big test for him, especially to stop City’s free flowing football on the pitch. A lot depends on his shoulders and he needs to be at his best to get something out from tonight’s game.
With a hope to get a positive result tonight, lets Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!!!