Saturday, 20 February 2016

Chelsea v City’s EDS (UPDATED 21.02.2016)

Should be an “interesting” one…

v Chelsea

Predicted line-up, subs & outcome…




___________________________M. Garcia____________


UPDATE (21.02.2016): Angelino, Kongolo & Bytyqi will not be featuring in today's game as they played in the EDS's 1-0 win over Manyoo. Such is the cost of trying to predict such an unpredictable team-selection type-game...

However,  it has been confirmed that the first team will include 7 EDS players in the squad for selection today and none of the rest that I've included in my predicted starting 11 featured in yesterday's game.

Our manager has already explained that Willy will be used both in the League & FA Cups and so…Willy it is between the sticks.

I’ll be brief about the rest [rather than commenting, as usual, about each player / department] in saying that as much as Pellegrini and the Manchester City hierarchy would want to progress in the F.A. Cup, they want the Champions League more. And, so, with the Football Association refusing to bring this fixture forward 24 hours in order to give us more rest, preparation & travelling time before we face Dynamo Kyiv; I can honestly see that apart from ‘first teamers’ Willy & Kelechi at opposite ends of the pitch; sandwiched in-between them is highly likely to be ‘the EDS’.

It might seem extreme but, if he doesn’t go with a majority of youth, what would be the point in pitching-in 5 or 6 first team players if the whole idea is to protect them for Wednesday night’s clash in the Ukraine? I also think our manager will do this to ‘make a point’ to the footballing authorities.

Then again, I could be wildly wrong with this predicted line-up…

If he DOES go with this line-up, then it’ll be a strong bench. Hart as back-up keeper; Kolarov to, perhaps, get some game time following his recent little-injury lay-off / comeback, Zaba as experienced cover for the opposite side and Martin likewise for the middle of the defence. Attacking option-replacements are likely to come in the form of Raheem, Yaya & Sergio.

Notable absences: Gael Clichy (not selected), Vincent Kompany (not selected), Eliaquim Mangala (injured), Nicholas Otamendi (not selected), Bacary Sagna (just back in training following an injury lay-off), Kevin De Bruyne (injured), Fabian Delph (injured), Fernandinho (not selected), Fernando (not selected), Samir Nasri (injured), Jesus Navas (injured), David Silva (not selected), Wilfried Bony (injured).

What a list!

Do I agree with Pellegrini’s (predicted) line-up?

Well, as at least one other Blue commented on a forum in mid-week, I have to agree and say that I would have ‘blooded’ a few more EDS / youngsters throughout our injury-plagued season so far and, therefore, not have to throw them in at the deep, deep end with an away game at the current champions of England. For some, this’ll be a full debut game!

But I can fully understand our manager’s and club’s stance with regards to the F.A.’s (poor) decision and being forced to, therefore, ‘pick our battles’ in terms of competitions.

But do I agree with this predicted team selection? To protect some of the youngsters then I’d say, “No” - I think it needs a sprinkling of experience in there.

With the Champions League game looming in mind then perhaps, at the back, Kolarov on the left and Martin in the middle. In midfield, perhaps Fernando ‘defending / protecting’ and, therefore, allowing the youthful, exuberant attacking midfielders to simply ‘go out and enjoy / express themselves’.

Result? A defeat – goodbye to this one for this season and a reduced fixture list in order to focus on the other three, remaining cups.

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