Chelsea vs Manchester City Football Score Match 6 January 2023
Chelsea take on Manchester City in back-to-back games as they look to bounce back from a disappointing draw against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League There will be few tasks more daunting for a defence than taking on Manchester City’s attack. They may not sit top of the Premier League table but the Citizens remain the league’s top goalscorers after their opening 16 matches and it’s little wonder how, when Erling Haaland has racked up 21 goals in his opening 15 outings. Chelsea did not have to contend with the Norwegian striker in their Carabao Cup clash in November but still went down by two goals as both teams rotated. That will likely happen again in the FA Cup, but Graham Potter will have to contend with a close to full-strength Manchester City on Thursday. The Blues do not hold a paticularly bad defensive record, having conceded 18 times in 16 games, but are put under pressure by their inability to score at the other end. They have conceded just twice more than City in the league this term but netted less than half of the output of Pep Guardiola’s side. A degree of perfection will be required at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s last outing against the Premier League champions saw Potter make use of three central defenders in the form of Trevoh Chalobah, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, with Lewis Hall and Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the flanks. However, Chelsea’s head coach seems to have made a concerted effort to move to a back four since then, though has yet to come up against the sort of challenge Manchester City will present. football.london takes a look at the options Potter has to consider ahead of Thursday’s match. Cesar Azpilicueta – With injuries to Reece James and Conor Gallagher, the Chelsea captain will be heavily favoured to start most games on the right of defence regardless of formation. Potter has looked to Conor Gallagher, albeit not to much success against Newcastle, and Christian Pulisic at wing-back too however.
Dion Rankine – Likely only an option if Potter returns to three central defenders and decides to make use of Rankine in place of Azpilicueta at wing-back. Derrick Abu – The young right-back was pictured in Chelsea first team training on Monday, as he participated outdoors with the group of players who either did not feature or came from the bench. Unlikely to make Chelsea’s squad for the game. Kalidou Koulibaly- The Senegal international endured a tough afternoon against Taiwo Awoniyi in Chelsea’s draw with Nottingham Forest and is sure to have the timing of his tackles tested against the fleet-footed nature of City. Having played both games since the restart of the league, he may be handed a rest but Thiago Silva is in the same situation. Thiago Silva- The Brazilian’s quality makes it unthinkable to rest him for the Premier League clash unless it is truly required. The veteran seems certain to start regardless of formation, with a rest much more likely for the FA Cup outing.
Trevoh Chalobah – Chalobah became Potter’s most reliable defender before the World Cup break but has had to settle for a place on the bench since. The 23-year-old brings a level of pace that is lacking in the combination of Koulibaly and Silva and may be favoured against City. He has also played on the right within his youth development so could be considered instead of Azpilicueta. Bashir Humphreys – The 19-year-old defender has been added to Chelsea’s first team page on the club website and spent time with the squad throughout the season, even going so far as to make the bench against Bournemouth in December. Marc Cucurella – The Spaniard seems exceptionally likely to start against Manchester City whether it be on the left of a back three or at wingback. Cucurella was one of Chelsea’s better performers in the Carabao Cup meeting and seemed suited to playing against City’s style in November. Whether he would be targeted by Erling Haaland if chosen in a back three remains to be seen.
Lewis Hall – The youngster has put in a man of the match contending performance in each of his Chelsea starts thus far, but has been confined to the bench since the Premier League’s return. Will likely only start of Cucurella is shift into a back three, though there are calls for him to make an appearance in midfield given Chelsea’s struggles after he featured there during the World Cup. Graham Potter’s Chelsea team to face Manchester City could look very different to the one that played against Nottingham Forest after a new influx of players. David Datro Fofana has already been announced as a Blues player whilst talks regarding Enzo Fernandez continue. He has given the green light on a move but an agreement between Benfica and Chelsea have entered crucial stages. If he signs by 12pm then he could still feature at Stamford Bridge on Thursday. Fofana was at the City Ground but only from the stands. To add to this, three more players have been added to the first team section of the club’s website. Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea is now at an ‘advanced’ stage according to Gianluca Di Marzio, as first reported by Felix Johnston. With a £106million release clause the Blues are looking to spread the cost over several payments.
To ensure that a move gets done Chelsea could end up paying £112million to secure the deal. It comes with Fernandez having made his feelings clear on the move. Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has said that he told his manager Roger Schmidt that he doesn’t wish to play for Benfica anymore. Chelsea could be set for a sensational swoop for Arsenal target Mykhaylo Mudryk. The 21-year-old has been on Arsenal’s radar since the summer and the Gunners have made two bids for him already. However, with what Arsenal are currently offering and Shakhtar Donetsk not matching up there is a chance for Todd Boehly to hijack the move. Chelsea themselves are keen to add attackers to their squad with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech both linked with moves away from the club and Mudryk could be their answer.