Jose's brilliant mind

By Oluwaferanmi Adedeji speaks ou
Last updated : 26 October 2013

Chelsea have won four consecutive games in all competitions, with two back to back wins in the Barclays Premier League. The team has found the back of the net 14 times and conceded just twice in their last four games too.
It's a good moment to face Manchester City after getting good results in recent times. Jose Mourinho's home record looks to be under threat as Chelsea welcome the City boys to the Bridge where Jose Mourinho has never lost a game in the Premier League (50W, 14D). 

TEAM NEWS
Jose Mourinho announced that with the exception of Marco van Ginkel, no other injury concern. Ashley Cole is fit and is expected to make a return to the starting eleven despite his uninspiring performances in recent times.


STRAY INTO HIS BRILLIANT MIND
As far as football is concerned, there are not many difficult jobs than predicting Jose Mourinho's selections and his tactics. He's brilliant and he's unpredictable. If I don't get it right, let's just pretend I never tried thinking like "The Special One".

David Luiz was brought on in place of Oscar towards the end of the last game against Schalke. He wasn't asked to join John Terry and Gary Cahill in the heart of the defence, he was told to play in the midfield. It was a move by Mourinho to fortify the midfield and snuff out whatever threat Schalke could manage, Eden Hazard scored after David's introduction and Luiz himself came close to scoring.
With players like Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure in the City setup, Jose Mourinho surely knows that it's not smart to play the slower players in midfield. That's exactly why I believe his introduction of Luiz into the midfield in the last game means a lot more.                      
If he thinks playing Luiz in midfield is a step too far, there is John Obi Mikel who is the more established defensive midfielder. But the fastest midfield Chelsea have at the moment is the trio of Luiz, Ramires and Oscar, with due respect to Super Frank Lampard who has done well but he's 35.

The attacking trio, we are almost 100% sure Eden Hazard and Oscar will start but the slot left will be filled by one of Willian, Andre Schurrle and Juan Mata. I believe he will go with pure width and pick one of Andre Schurrle and Willian especially in a game the players will need to do lot of pressing. Magical Juan Mata? I think not.

Fernando Torres scored twice in one game, Samuel Eto'o once, that's a relatively easy decision. Oh! There's a certain Senegalese in the squad, Demba Ba? Bench? I don't think so. 


PEEP INTO THE ENEMY'S CAMP                

Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany is out of this fixture with an injury. Javi Garcia is likely to be his replacement as a makeshift defender. That's good news for Fernando Torres. 

Oscar is a very hardworking player and he's well capable of taking Fernandinho out of the game. But Manchester City's midfield general is Yaya Toure, a combination of Ramires and David Luiz might still struggle against the brutal Yaya. David Silva is also likely to spend sometime in the midfield while Sergio Aguero drops deep too. If Chelsea don't play fast players in the midfield City will have a nice time passing the ball around and that can mean defeat for Mourinho and his army.

Sergio Aguero in particular has been scoring for fun, his partnership with Negredo has performed well so far. Both of them started their derby win over Manchester United. Sergio Aguero!!! Another reason, Luiz must start in midfield. 

Defending against set pieces hasn't been the strongest point of this City team. Chelsea might need at least one of Juan Mata and Frank Lampard in this department. Joe Hart too has been error prone and he has come under scrutiny even in the national setup, Samuel Eto'o maybe?


KEY MAN: EDEN HAZARD
Eden Hazard wasn't playing up to the high standards most set for him after the loss against Bayern Munich. He then picked up an injury and to no one's surprise he has hit the ground running after that injury, scoring four times in his last three appearances( two starts) for Chelsea also grabbing an assist.
Hazard's pace and ability to lead every counter attack can cause City problems on Sunday. The Belgian is brilliant especially with the ball and its hard to take the ball off him without fouling him.
If Chelsea win or lose, Eden Hazard will be a major deciding factor. 



PREDICTION: CHELSEA 2-1 MANCITY
Jose Mourinho despite just starting his second stint at the club has already showed everyone he still has his magical powers. We saw him do it against Norwich City and Cardiff City, turned the two games around with his substitutions and tactical changes.
If Chelsea can manage to somehow be in the lead or keep the game level at half-time then a win will look likely. Manchester City have been poor away from home this season too.
What I see is a 2-1 victory for the boys in blue from West London.

 

 

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