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5 reasons why Manchester City will struggle against Chelsea | EPL 2021-22

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku
Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER

Chelsea will host reigning Premier League champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in a high-profile encounter on Saturday.

Manchester City players will be vying to avenge that heartbreaking loss in the final of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League as they travel to take on Chelsea. The Blues have grown into one of Europe's most formidable defensive units under Thomas Tuchel.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have fluctuated between the dominant and the wimpish in the 2021-22 season so far.

They suffered a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the Premier League season. However, they bounced back strongly registering back-to-back 5-0 wins over Norwich City and Arsenal.

But an unconvincing 1-0 win over Leicester City and goalless draw against Southampton have exposed some of City's weaknesses.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have conceded just a single goal so far this season and that came from the spot in the game against Liverpool. They definitely look like the team to beat this season.

Without further ado, let's take a look at five reasons why Manchester City will struggle against Chelsea this Saturday.


#5 Chelsea are much better rested than Manchester City

Manchester City v Wycombe Wanderers F.C. - Carabao Cup Third Round
Manchester City v Wycombe Wanderers F.C. - Carabao Cup Third Round

Thomas Tuchel used the EFL Cup game in midweek against Aston Villa to rest several of his starters. Romelu Lukaku and Mason Mount featured off the bench while Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva took a breather.

The likes of Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta were all rested as well. The Blues also got the result they wanted, albeit via a penalty shootout.

Pep Guardiola chose the EFL Cup fixture against Wycombe to put some minutes into some of his players who haven't featured extensively so far this season.

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling played the length of the game. Ferran Torres was yet another high-profile starter. Out of the five players, at least four are tipped to start the game against Chelsea.

But the Blues are well rested for the encounter and that could prove to be a point of difference between the two sides.

Pep: Complains about having to start kids Also Pep: Plays £60m De Bruyne, £60m Mahrez, £50m Sterling, £21m Torres and England international Foden against League One Wycombe

#4 The Fernandinho single midfield pivot unlikely to work against Chelsea

Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League
Manchester City v Southampton - Premier League

One of the main reasons why Manchester City struggled in their 0-0 draw against Southampton was due to how their rhythm was disrupted in midfield. Southampton pressed Fernandinho quite intensely whenever he had possession and aggressively cut the passing lanes available to him.

Fernandinho showed his age that day and his passing and decision making were suspect throughout. With Rodri likely to be sidelined for the game against Chelsea, City might have to stick with Fernandinho.

An alternative option would be to deploy Gundogan in place of Fernandinho but that's a plan that didn't work out in the Champions League final against Chelsea. So Pep Guardiola has quite a decision to make here on Saturday.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith

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