Under-pressure Blues face acid test


Chelsea's Timo Werner

CHELSEA vs Man City has always been one of the most anticipated matches to watch every season in recent years and the stakes have always been high. This Monday morning’s clash is no exception.

For a start, they are on the same number of points and sitting outside of the top four but Pep Guardiola’s side have played two games less. A win for either side is going to boost their chances to achieve something in the league this season.

After a decent start earlier in the season, Chelsea now find themselves in serious trouble after suffering three defeats in the past five games.

Some have even tipped Chelsea as favourites to be league champions, but at the moment it looks like they will be lucky to finish fourth.

Their current form is nothing short of frustrating, especially for Chelsea fans. Everton, Wolves and Arsenal have all managed to grab maximum points against the Blues in recent games.

To make matters worse, Chelsea are not exactly the most exciting team to watch. There is no intensity in their play, there is no plan B if opponents figure them out and the form of key players have been truly disappointing.

Where did it all go wrong for Frank Lampard’s team? Having spent over £220mil (RM1.2bil) on new signings last summer, surely they have to do much better. This is simply not good enough.

Unfortunately, star signings such as Kai Harvertz and Timo Werner have yet to hit the ground running. They’re genuinely struggling at the moment and the Blues will hope they can rediscover their best form as soon as possible.

Both of them didn’t even make the starting line-up in the midweek’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa. So, all eyes will be on Lampard’s team selection tomorrow.

Hakim Ziyech is one of the only bright spots for Lampard but the creative midfielder is reportedly unavailable again due to injury. The Blues have not really been clicking with him being absent. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t be an excuse because the squad has plenty of quality players and depth.

If things go south against Man City, there will certainly be question marks over Lampard’s future at the club. History shows a club like Chelsea do not tolerate this kind of form and the owners can be ruthless.

Is the clock ticking for Lampard? We will find out soon enough in the coming weeks, I guess.

He needs to set his team up to put on a mega performance to stand a chance to bag full points against a City side who are well rested after their match at Everton was postponed in midweek due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Manchester club.

Man City are also not firing on all cylinders and not looking like title contenders as many have predicted.

However, in their last few matches, they seem to be gradually picking up their form and turning things around.

Just like any other club, City are also coping with injuries and players like Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus out after testing positive for Covid-19. It remains to be seen how many other players have been infected by the disease and if it will take a toll on Guardiola’s side.

Tomorrow’s fixture against Chelsea looks like the perfect game for the Citizens to make a statement.

One thing this fixture has taught us over the years is to always be prepared to be entertained and expect the unexpected because goals are guaranteed.

Looking at the current form, the Citizens are expected to have the edge but if Chelsea have enough fire in them, they should be able to challenge and go for the win. I’m predicting an entertaining 2-2 draw.

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