Will Chelsea use “19th Century Tactics” at the Etihad?

Will Chelsea use “19th Century Tactics” at the Etihad?

Wikimedia - Tsutomu Takasu

Past half the season and four games played, and we have a battle between two of the top three Premier League sides: Manchester City vs Chelsea.  Both managers are under the spotlight, with each boasting the best football talents in the Premier League.

One of them stands out in the news, making one headline after the other; at home they call him “The Happy One”, but a week ago he was “The Sad one” , reason, visiting neighbors had something else in their plans during the visit. Mourinho displayed his frustrations last week when his side was unable to get past stubborn West Ham, and the “19th century football” scheme used by the Hammers. West Ham came in without any intention to attack, and were able to earn a point in a match that saw them clearly outmatched.

Chelsea’s travels to top sides in the league this season have seen Chelsea use the same playing style West Ham used against them last week to grind out a point. Two scoreless games at the Emirates and Old Trafford, with both of them very winnable, still, Mourinho decided to bunker up and urge his men to play deep and defend all loose balls.

However, with a harassing environment like the Etihad, this match could be a very different story. Manchester City’s EPL home record instills fear, even to the extreme optimists: a single defeat in 21 matches, 11 wins on the bounce, and no opponent has managed a clean sheet at the Etihad since Birmingham City did so in November of 2012.

Will Mourinho once again adopt a defensive formation, just like he has in every other away encounter against top sides, or will he play a free-flowing game, hoping to outplay the powerful Manchester City? Mourinho’s prior record this season show that Chelsea will very likely go into the Etihad with the intention to bunker up in the hopes of grinding out a point.