Saturday, 15 August 2015

Beware ‘stung’ Chelsea and bruised Jose.

After an opening-day home draw, a sending off and a fall-out regarding his medical staff; expect a ‘reaction’ and a tough, tight game against The Pensioners on Sunday (4:00pm KO BST).

Could also be a good time to play ‘em though…

In contrast we saw a masterclass performance and clean-sheet victory by City away at WBA and with no NEW injuries reported; at home tomorrow and with that huge confidence-building performance & result; then in many ways this could be the perfect time to face Chelsea.

Straight to it then…

v Chelsea

Predicted line-up, subs and outcome...

4-5-1 come 4-3-3:






From back to front…

‘Back 5’ (including the keeper)…almost the same [as against The Baggies last Monday]. Sagna – a player I like – did nothing wrong on Monday night of course but I think we’re all hoping [after a quiet season-last by his standards] that ‘our Zaba’ can rediscover his superb form. I’m going for Manuel Pellegrini hoping that his Argentine right-back can start that form on Sunday against last season’s champions.

With both Fernando [groin] & Delph [hamstring] absent; Fernandinho to continue as the deepest-lying midfielder. I just hope he can hammer-out the clumsiness from his gameplay.

Ahead of him in an 'attacking 4' it’s ‘same again’ in Yaya, Raheem, David & Jesus. That should be enough to keep the Chelsea midfield & defence pretty busy…

Up front? I’m just guessing that our manager will hope to hit ‘em quick while ‘the oppo’ might be a little uncertain & cold…and what better way to-do-just-that than to top that attacking quartet with a slice of Sergio Aguero; who should be ready for a start now I think.

Willy as keeper ‘back up’ of course and strong defensive cover on the bench in Bacary, Jason & Martin; the latter probably ‘in there’ as a defensive midfield cover-option again. Samir for replacement creativity cover and strong options also up front in Kelechi & Wilfried.

Notable absences: Clichy (back in training / recovering – might make the bench), Delph & Fernando (both injured).

Result? I’m so very torn…and I’ll be honest. All day yesterday my City ‘spider sense’ had this one down as a draw; balancing-out everything I’ve already said in this piece against each other over and over again in my dizzying head.

Wanting to put their opening day home draw behind them and move on ASAP; Chelsea are a side packed with quality...particularly in the creative department accross the middle. And with their manager one of the best in the world at nullifying the opposition when required to; we'll need all of our inventiveness & energy that we displayed against Albion in midweek to crack 'em.

But whether it’s the approaching hours [to kick off] that’s turning my optimism volume-dial up a notch or whether, overnight, I have subconsciously absorbed all of yesterday’s analysis whilst asleep I just can’t say for certain. Whatever it might be…I’m turning yesterday’s ‘score draw’ prediction into today’s narrow victory for the lighter blues. It’s a new, South Stand, 3rd-tier-debut home win.

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