FA CUP: Chelsea v Manchester City - Preview - Who starts for Chelsea?
Sunday is massive and without question, the biggest game of the season. Without being disrespectful to Millwall or Wigan and their suppor...
Sunday is massive and without question, the biggest game of the season. Without being disrespectful to Millwall or Wigan and their supporters, whoever comes through this one will be installed as odds on favourite with the bookies to go on and lift the 2013 FA CUP!.
FA Cup semifinal weekend is always big football news and will fill plenty of pages in the written media. With Chelsea's record at Wembley in the last six seasons, it's well worth heading over to Unibet to get your bets on the Blues again!
Manchester City are a force to be reckoned with and it's important that we do not underestimate them. After beating Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night and having six days to rest and prepare, Roberto Mancini's men will see this one as a chance to win their second FA Cup in the last three seasons.
The big news as far as Chelsea is concerned is that David Silva could be missing for City. A key integral part of the sides makeup, Silva would be a massive loss for City. Although they have other players that can cause anyone problems, no one can really fill the void that Silva would leave if he doesn't play.
With Silva missing, City have the option of playing Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero together. Yaya Toure, James Milner and Samir Nasri could all start in behind one of them with Gareth Barry and Javi Garcia as the holding two.
Like Chelsea, they have plenty of options to select from.
As for Chelsea, we have had to travel to Russia to take on Rubin Kazan yesterday and back again ahead of this one and Rafa Benitez selection for that game was interesting. Players not involved or not in the starting eleven due to being ineligible, rested, injured or ill were : Ashley Cole, Ryan Bertrand, Branislav Ivanovic, Mikel, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar and Demba Ba.
Now that's a pretty impressive list of players who will remain fresh for Sunday and you would imagine that most of them will start. We are waiting for news on Ashley Cole's fitness and hoping that Ryan Bertrand has shaken off his illness.
Like I said, this really is a massive game and I am wondering how Rafa Benitez will approach this one. Will he pick his strongest eleven and take the game to City or will he have one eye on making sure we are set up as solid as we can at the back and play counter attacking football?
Does that mean John Terry and Frank Lampard start this one or miss out? Does Fernando Torres continue up front or will Demba Ba come back in as Rafa continues his rotation policy with the squad?
It's my view that City are just as concerned about the threat Chelsea pose as we are of City. The combination of Oscar, Mata and Hazard will cause them plenty of problems and I believe they will all start. Chelsea look to Juan Mata as the conductor of our attacks in the same way City value Silva. Eden Hazard has come into his own of late and Oscar back in the side, has confidence in his game.
Chelsea's main problem will be the back four and holding two. Who should Rafa go with?
It's my view that he will rest John Terry after playing last night so David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic will start in the middle. Cesar Azpilicueta will continue at right back and I believe Ryan Bertrand will get the nod again at left back as it's too early for Ashley Cole.
The holding two in my opinion will be Mikel and Ramires.
So my predicted Chelsea starting eleven to take on Manchester City will be:
Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Bertrand, Ramires, Mikel, Oscar, Mata, Hazard and Demba Ba.
What do you people think? How should we approach the game and who should start for Chelsea?
Carefree & KTBFFH!
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