- Missing Link
- The Club
Chelsea must beware a Man City backlash this weekend after the reigning champions were humbled by Southampton last time out. The 3-1 defeat will have prompted Roberto Mancini into reading the riot act to his players and expect them to come out firing at the Etihad on Sunday.
Yaya Toure has stepped right back in his role as the pivotal figure in the City midfield following his return from the African Cup of Nations. The big Ivorian is snipping on the heels of Santi Cazorla for title of the league’s most effective passer. He sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 948.
Carlos Tevez continues to excel for City this term despite his side’s indifferent form in recent weeks. He’s contributed either a goal or an assist every 79.7 minutes this season.
James Milner’s industry is what so often gets him into positions to deliver the final ball and it is this energy and tenacity which is why he leads the City squad for crosses delivered with 31.
Chelsea demolished Wigan 4-1 at Stamford Bridge as part of a dazzling all-round display by the reigning European champions. The goals were shared throughout the team, with Ramires, Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard and Marko Marin all getting on the scoresheet. They will need to bring a similar blend of steel and flair if they are to topple Man City in their own backyard this weekend.
Few players can claim to be as influential for their sides as Spanish maestro Juan Mata, his technical excellence defining most of Chelsea’s season. It will crucial for City defenders to close down his space and prevent him adding to his 753 completed passes in the opponent’s half or it will be a long day for their defence with him pulling the strings just behind Chelsea’s forward line.
The idea that his talents are in decline seems to have spurred Frank Lampard onto even greater heights this season. Renowned as a consummate professional, he’s been equally as efficient with his on-field exploits, his 11 goals coming once every once every 3.8 shots.
Shackling the considerable talents of this City outfit will likely fall largely to the Ramires and David Luiz but they must control the urge to rush their challenges in a game where ill-discipline could cost them. The two have racked up 43 fouls between them this season.