Chelsea’s trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City represents their toughest fixture in the Premier League and Jose Mourinho is already trying to get under the home side’s skin by labelling them ‘lucky’.
After tearing Tottenham a new one midweek Tim Sherwood claimed that Manuel Pellegrini’s men were the best in the world, but Mourinho believes that many crucial decisions have gone in their favour this season.
Whilst it’s true that they had a couple of dodgy ones go their way against the likes of Spurs, for example, they’ve been scoring goals for fun and the Chelsea manager is definitely up to his old tricks and knows full well what his opponents are capable of.
After failing to put an awful West Ham side to the sword many may not be expecting much from the Blues during this outing but Mourinho’s brand of counter-attacking football is the sort that can frustrate the hosts, whereas it’s fairly ineffective when the opposition has no interest in attacking as West Ham did and Chelsea looked like they were lacking in ideas.
The goalless draw against the Hammers can only be described as a monumental failure for Mourinho’s side as no matter what excuses the manager made following the match, there were no excuses and it was hypocritical of slamming relegation fodder for defending a point against a top four side when Chelsea didn’t even bother fielding a forward away at Old Trafford, for example.
Anyway, that disappointment has added extra importance to the fixture against City as there is more of an onus on Chelsea to get something positive if they are serious about challenging for the title and Mourinho’s squad is already handicapped in the sense that they don’t possess that 20 goal-a-season player that most Premier League winners have in their squad.
It would be just like Chelsea and Mourinho to slip-up against the likes of West Ham only to score a big result against a top side, so let’s hope the luck is on the Blues’ side on Monday night.
The Chelsea XI I’d pick:
C. Azpilicueta – G. Cahill – J. Terry (c) – A. Cole
J. Mikel – N. Matic
Willian – Oscar – E. Hazard