Chelsea v Manchester City: Carlo MUST switch to 4-3-3 to win the game.

Make no mistake this game today is as big as United at home. Chelsea were up against it against United at half time and pulled together to ...

Make no mistake this game today is as big as United at home. Chelsea were up against it against United at half time and pulled together to get the right result. Chelsea are up against a side that has proved to be a pain in the arse for one reason or another and will come to Chelsea with a totally different attitude to the one that battered us at the Bridge last season.

Last season the Manchester City side came to the Bridge set up to counter attack us and took full advantage Craig Bellamy and Carlo Tevez were a constant thorn in our side and I was honest at the time and will be once again when I say they fully deserved the three points.

This season at Eastlands the same thing happened. However it was a different City side, a side that still looked to hit us on the counter, but a side set up to not lose the game. Once again Carlos Tevez scored against us as Chelsea never looked like getting going.

City will come here today and will be set up again to not lose the game. They will rely on Carlos Tevez and David Silva to create something when they are in possession and could, if Chelsea switch off, make us pay.

City are getting alot of negative press at the moment over the mad-Italian Balotelli and of Mancini's tactics but you have to give the bloke some credit. He is focused on the result and three points as to him this is all that matters if he is to achieve the clubs aim of Champions League football.

Expect City to line up in their 4-5-1 formation once more with Tevez up on his own. City will work hard and in Nigel De Jong, have someone who has had two fantastic games against us. Chelsea will need to be near their best or somewhere near there to win this one.

For Chelsea, the game today is another step forward to putting right the wrongs of earlier in the season. Chelsea had been fluid at the start and scoring goals for fun. Everyone back then kept on saying that this seasons Chelsea side would only be measured when they come up against rival sides fighting for the title. Our first big test was City and we didn't turn up and were beaten.

There is a case of revenge in our minds and I am sure in the players minds too as City have had the better of our games in recent times. The message to the players from me is simple. You need to turn up, play well to the best of your ability and win this game.

We know that Florent Malouda, Michael Essien and Fernando Torres will all start today after Carlo confirmed the other day. Didier Drogba's performance against Copenhagen the other night has surely forced Carlo's hand into playing him next to Torres today but I just wonder if because of City's formation, Chelsea will in fact revert back to our tried and trusted 4-3-3 formation so we can match up 3 on 3 in the middle of midfield?.

The 4-4-2 formation Carlo has deployed in recent weeks has worked ok. It worked against Copenhagen twice, United and Blackpool as we were up against sides that played the same formation against us.

The danger of this formation is being outnumbered in the middle of midfield. City could have it easy with the man over and could make life very very difficult for us. If you think about it, Ramires has been asked to play right wing as part of four in midfield. It isn't his natural game and if the same formation is deployed, he could get sucked into the middle if City begin to dominate which would leave our right side exposed on the counter.

Carlo must switch back to our 4-3-3 formation today to give us a chance of winning this game but more importantly, dominate the game. I just wonder if Drogba or Anelka will get the nod to play right side of the front three with Torres through the middle and Malouda wide left?.

I could be wrong and we keep our 4-4-2 but I really honestly believe we have to change based on City today.

De Jong, Barry and Yaya Toure will look to make life difficult for us in the middle. As a result and it would be harsh on Ramires, but I would stick Mikel in the holding role to deal with Toure as he will be the further forward of their three. I would stick Essien next to Lampard to deal with De Jong and pair up Frank Lampard on Gareth Barry. Let's just see how good Barry is tracking Frank.

I am confident our three can overcome their three and Essien and Lampard can force Barry and De Jong backwards. As a result this will leave a huge gap between Tevez and his midfield which will leave him isolated.

Here's another twist. I would play Ivanovic next to Terry in the middle and Luiz at right back with Cole left back. Luiz could get forward like Cole and have an influence in the game. Ivanovic and Terry can deal with Tevez.

If Chelsea are to win the game then without question we need to finish off the chances we create, and playing 4-3-3 we would create plenty today. Malouda safe in the knowledge he is starting needs to sort himself out and show us the kind of performance that he knows he is capable of. If we can give enough of the ball out wide today, Malouda linking up with Cole could be a threat City find hard to deal with.

Like I said, it could be a toss up between Anelka and Drogba to play right side today of the three. I would stick Drogba there as he drifts out wide plenty of times in games anyway.

We know Fernando Torres is starting today and I personally would love to see him through the middle playing off the shoulder of the last defender. We don't want to see him out wide, we want to see him running onto crosses and through balls to punish City today. It's his birthday today and what better way to celebrate, than to get his first goal in a blue shirt this afternoon.

Like I said, I could be wrong and we could stick with our 4-4-2 formation but I predict another struggle against a hard working and compact City side fighting for every ball. It could be another first half like against United.

No matter how we play and how plays, we need to be up for it first of all. focused on the job at hand and to keep our composure with and without the ball. We have better players than City. We have more experience than City and today we need to show it.

An early goal could see City open up and the game change. It will be frantic, it will be a battle and is our chance to jump above City with a game in hand and looking at hunting Arsenal down next.

For Chelsea, For Carlo Ancelotti and for Fernando Torres, IT'S TIME TO DELIVER and I believe they will.

I'm going for a big Chelsea win and City leave the Bridge without so much of a whimper!.

Chelsea 3-0 (Torres x 2 , Lampard).


Follow me on Twitter @chelseadaft

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