Man City will test Antonio Conte's new look Chelsea defence, says Ray Wilkins
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 30/11/16 12:06pm
Antonio Conte's system will face its toughest test so far this season when Chelsea travel to face Manchester City on Saturday, according to Ray Wilkins.
The current Premier League leaders meet City - live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 11.30am - on the back of ending Tottenham's unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, a result which saw them stretch their winning run to seven matches.
Conte has implemented his favoured three-at-the-back formation during that period, the same system he used during his spell as Juventus and Italy manager, and has seen his side concede just one goal.
Chelsea, however, have a wretched record at City, having won just one of their last seven matches at the Etihad, and Wilkins believes Pep Guardiola's forward line will give the Blues' new-look defence a stern examination.
"They've (Manchester City) won so many games in the past and it's not really been a happy hunting ground for Chelsea for a couple of season," he told Premier League Daily on Sky Sports News HQ.
"So, it's a tough game for Chelsea to go there, but he'll (Guardiola) will be slightly concerned that Chelsea have only conceded one goal in seven games.
"As far as that is concerned, it will cause him a bit of a sleepless night on Friday. In saying that, they still have the quality and players who can cause Chelsea a lot of problems.
"They will certainly tell Antonio Conte whether his three at the back is viable against the top, top teams. So, they'll certainly give Chelsea a good test."
However, Wilkins is confident Chelsea will also ask questions of the City backline, with the Blues having already shown their attacking prowess in thumping victories over Manchester United and Everton earlier in the season.
"When Chelsea are being put under pressure, they've got so much pace in advance areas that if they can get past that first City press and make sure that pass is a good pass, then you're right at that back four," he said.
"City's back four has been vulnerable, Bravo has been vulnerable in goal as well and I don't think he's better than Joe Hart. I think Bravo has caused them a few problems and there's been a bit of indecision in that back four along with him."