MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – Jose Mourinho has decided to go defensive against Manchester City for Chelsea traveling Premier League fixture at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
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The Chelsea manager has decided to start with both Nemanja Matic and Ramires in defensive midfield roles in the hopes of keeping the likes of David Silva and Yaya Toure from dictating the Manchester City attack.
With Matic and Ramires both starting, the option is now open for Cesc Fabregas to play a more advanced midfield role in supporting striker Diego Costa, who keeps his place in the starting team, despite his reported hamstring bother.
The hard-working Willian will join the skillful Eden Hazard in supporting Costa as well, with the Blues playing without Oscar, who apparently picked up an injury during training.
First-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is out suspended after his red card against Swansea last week, so summer recruit Asmir Begovic get his chance to make his full debut for the champions.
Meanwhile, the likes of Kurt Zouma, Falcao, Juan Cuadrado, John Obi Mikel and Loic Remy all on the bench.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini also makes one change to his side from the last fixture, with fit-again striker Sergio Aguero coming into the starting team to replace Wilfried Bony, who takes his seat on the bench.
However, most of the attention will be on the defensive line of Manchester City, with several pundits still not convinced Pellegrini’s side is strong enough in that department.
Captain Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala will continue their roles in the heart of the backline, with Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov at the full back positions.
Spanish playmaker Silva is also expected to be one of the key players for Man City today with Jesus Navas and Raheem Sterling acting as strong supporters in the attack.