Chelsea welcome Manchester City to Stamford Bridge this afternoon and Mauricio Pochettino could be set to copy Pep Guardiola’s defensive tactics
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino could be set to copy Pep Guardiola’s tactic of fielding four centre-backs in his starting XI. The Blues will face Manchester City at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.
Chelsea have the opportunity to win back-to-back Premier League games for just the second time this season following their 4-1 victory against Tottenham on Monday night. After spending over £350million on new signings in the summer, Pochettino continues to struggle to find consistency at the club.
The Blues moved up to 10th in the Premier League table and could move above the likes of Brentford and Brighton with a win against City. Pochettino has been forced into changing his defensive system a number of times this season due to injuries.
Reece James only recently returned to action following a hamstring injury he sustained on the opening day of the season. Ben Chilwell is set to be sidelined for a significant period of time, but Marc Cucurella has done a stellar job in defence since being drafted back into the starting XI.
However, Pochettino could resort to copying a similar tactic to Guardiola this afternoon following a triple Chelsea team news hint. Thiago Silva, Benoit Badiashile and Axel Disasi have all posted match graphics ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
Disasi has been deployed at right-back at times this season after completing a £38million move to Chelsea in the summer. Badiashile has struggled with injury this term but is now hoping to force himself into the starting XI once again.
Thiago Silva has been a stalwart at the back for Chelsea and continues to be a leader under Pochettino – with the Brazilian expected to start against City. Levi Colwill has been used at left-back since Chilwell’s injury and could start alongside Silva, Badiashile and Disasi after they hinted they could start by posting a graphic ahead the huge clash against Guardiola’s side.
The City boss has been known to field four centre-backs in defence in a huge change to his tactics, with the likes of Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and John Stones all capable of starting together. Josko Gvardiol’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium in the summer only cemented the idea that Guardiola will continue to start centre-backs across the back four – moving away from a more traditional tactic with two full-backs on either side of the defence.
It remains to be seen whether Badiashile, Disasi and Silva all start together in defence – as well as Colwill – given that Cucurella and James are strong options at full-back for the Blues. However, Pochettino may looking to add more physicality into his team to deal with the likes of Erling Haaland, whilst focusing on being defensively solid against City’s threatening attack.