Battle front Etihad: Man City/Chelsea grudge tie, too close to call

By Victor Enyinnaya on December 3, 2016

Views: 4,761

It is a fact that fans go to stadium to watch goals scored whether it is textbook or fluke, the cheers that greet such moment has been known to be the most momentous in football games all over the globe. At Etihad this afternoon such would be the order of the day.

One will not however deny the fact that fans also like good display of the round leather showpiece. They will get both and more in this high-profile grudge game between Manchester City FC (9-1-3, 30 points) and Chelsea FC (10-2-1, 31 points)  scheduled for today Saturday, December 3, at the Etihad Stadium as the round 14 of the ongoing Premier League season continues.

Fans will have full of the anticipated action packed encounter involving two of the best in EPL. In short, both sides have contributed enduringly to make the English League become a reference point and envy of other leagues across Europe.

Again, they parade some of the best legs in the game. The teams are as thick as their gaffers who are also rated as some of the best brains around. These features would play greater roles in the Big game. On paper and on the pitch from the starting up time, it will be streaming till the last blast of the referee’s whistle.

It is instructive to note that Manchester City has relinquished the top two spots of the Premier League table to Chelsea and Liverpool after being winless in three of their last six matches. The team is tied on points with the Reds but has a lesser goal difference to settle at the third spot.

City is coming off a 2-1 victory over newly-promoted side Burnley on the road at the Turf Moor last Saturday for their second straight win, and would pray it continues against high flying and ruthless Chelsea that has no respect for any team. Diego Costa, Hazard, Moses, Pedro and Thibaut courtois

David Luiz and gang must ensure they will be at their best if the Stamford Bridge landlords hope to hold their heads high after knowing that the Argentine striker Sergio Agüero is sleekly and slippery and deadly in goal scoring. His brace in the 37th and 60th minutes pull off the come-from-behind win for head coach Pep Guardiola's side after the hosts opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a goal from midfielder Dean Marney.

Meanwhile, Chelsea picked up its seventh consecutive win to remain on top of the English top flight standings with a 2-1 nipping of fellow contending team Tottenham Hotspur at the Stamford Bridge also last Saturday.

Recalled the Spurs scored the opening goal in the 11th minute courtesy of a goal by Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen. It was the first goal the Blues have conceded after six Premier League games.

However, head coach Antonio Conte’s squad be praying that Spanish winger, Pedro would reproduce the kind of a curling strike he did against the Spurs and the Nigerian midfielder Victor Moses to come out smoking against City in their home.

Without mincing words, a tough battle looms between City and the Blues, but Guardiola's boys have the advantage playing at home. One will not stick out one’s neck to predict this tight crunchy tie or predict the lineup because it is too close to call. However, it looks terrain is rough though; bookmakers and City ardent fans splashed another close 2-1 win for Manchester City. But Chelsea’s current form has been amazing that the Blues can against the much talked about home advantage for City pull through to a drawn game in grudge clash.

…And now this, Manchester City starting lineup (4-2-3-1 formation): Bravo; Sagna, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy; Fernandinho, Fernando; Sterling, Touré, Nolito; Agüero, suicide squad you will say. And on the other hand, the dreaded Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-3 formation): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Moses, Kanté, Matic, Alonso; Pedro, Costa, Hazard another strike force.

Truth being that Chelsea survived a major test of their title credentials last weekend after they came from behind to turn back London rivals Tottenham, but the Blues now have another deadly challenge on their hands when they take on Manchester City on today.

Pep Guardiola’s side is sitting on just one point behind Chelsea in the Premier League standing and City will certainly be keen to try and end the west Londoners’ winning run of seven straight games.

The encounter would be full blooded and there will be no inch of space from the opposing sides. While Konte and his boys will be hell bent on seeking set up or at worst case scenario to share the spoils, a result that would help their dream. But Guardiola will go extra mile to do in his visitors. It will be fight to finish from the homers who are also thirsty to be at the top and hung on till the end of the season. Both sides are fully loaded to the teeth showcasing sharp and precision oriented attackers. For instance, Chelsea will employ every trick and tactics in its bid to avoid a nightmare called Pep and his wounded lads’ landmines. It’s obvious the gladiators will fire from all cylinders in spirited supremacy drive for an upper hand in a game of their lives.

Head or tail, a difficult football encounter is already in the air which its memories would linger on for many years to come in the minds of their numerous fans. The process is today. Again, the outcome of it will reshape and redefine the log and teams will take it from there henceforth. Already, Chelsea fans have predicted a win for their idols if the form of their team is anything to rely upon. There will be no dull moments throughout the game. It will be fireworks all the way. There will be no easy route to whatever will be the final outcome of this all important match as both squads will shade lots of sweat to survive each other. So let the tag of war begin!

•Photo shows Chelsea star Victor Moses

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 3, 2016


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