Saturday, 26 April 2014

Yaya's back? That’s an unexpected boost…

In his pre-match press conference Manuel Pellegrini listed just Nastasic (remember him?), Navas & Silva as being injured. No mention of Yaya. So, presumably, our Ivorian midfielder will be fit to play some part in our tough trip to Selhurst Park.


All we can and should do is concentrate on our own game – there’s nothing we can do to influence the Liverpool result; a game that will finish just before our match on Sunday and I’m certainly not going to comment on whether Mourinho and / or the Chelsea board are going to “sanction” the weakening of their team at Anfield ahead of their important return leg of the Champions League next week.

What I will say is that Chelsea have, in my opinion, the best squad in the Premier League (apart from in the striker department) and ANY Chelsea side is capable of upsetting Liverpool on Sunday – whether that’s by taking a point back home to London or all 3 will remain to be seen…

So, straight to it then…

Selhurst Park
With Yaya only just back from injury it’s difficult to predict whether Pellegrini will play him from the off or keep him in reserve but, here goes…











Working from back to front…

Hart, of course.

Clichy is the more defensive of the two left-backs at our disposal and so should get the nod for this game. Kompany and Demichelis will probably see the season out as a back-pairing now and despite showing signs of season-long fatigue; Zabaleta is a must…and has had 6 days rest since the WBA game.

I’d be looking to Nasri to have a better game than he did the last time his midfield “partner” Silva was missing [against Sunderland] and will probably feature down the left for the most part. Fernandinho “holding” and, most likely, Milner on the right.

I think our manager will start with Toure. Yaya doesn’t strike me as much of a bench “impact player”; he often takes time to warm up. So I think Pellegrini will be hoping that Yaya can assist in us getting a firm, early grip on the game and, hopefully, help to put the game out of reach before having to (I’m sure) come off before the end of his comeback game.

I’ve just got a feeling that Jovetic MIGHT get a start here and fill a David Silva “advanced” role behind the striker. I’m sticking my neck out here - Jovetic doesn’t get many starts. It makes sense to me at least; Stevan’s floating, mobile nature can be a huge asset for us on Sunday.

Against Albion last Monday Aguero seemed a LOT sharper – if he’s managed to gain a further 5 or 10% during the week then watch out Palace!

Decent bench with two very different strikers on there if needed; a midfield defensive replacement for Yaya in the shape of Javi Garcia and if we’re in front; we have cover for the tiring Zabaleta in the form of soon-to-be-departing Micah Richards.

Result? I think we can break Palace’s fine run of 5 wins from 5. It’ll be very tough of course but I’m going for us taking all 3 points. C’mon City! 

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