Blogs & Opinion

Manchester City v Chelsea: Paul Merson expects scoring draw

Paul Merson - Paul Merson Posted 30th January 2014 view comments

After what Jose Mourinho said about West Ham last week, you'd like to think Man City won't need a Black & Decker on Monday night.

We saw Chelsea go to Manchester United earlier in the season and play for a 0-0 draw, but I think it would be disrespectful to his team to ask them to do the same thing here, especially after he accused West Ham of playing "19th century football".

Mourinho: should get a draw at Man City if he doesn't go too defensive

Mourinho: should get a draw at Man City if he doesn't go too defensive

Chelsea are capable of going anywhere and grinding out a 0-0 draw, but it almost sends the wrong message to the team. It says: "You're not good enough."

You can understand West Ham adopting that approach. They are in a dogfight and haven't got a player who would get in the Chelsea team, but surely with all the attacking flair Chelsea have got they can do better than play for a draw.

So surely Mourinho won't go to the Etihad and defend. For a start they've got no Sergio Aguero and Man City are a completely different beast without him. I've been lucky to watch a lot of Man City this season and they are nowhere near the same team when he's not up front.

The two strikers - Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo - will really suit John Terry and Gary Cahill. They will play up against them, rather than dropping off into the hole like Aguero does. They are top-drawer players, but it will be much easier for the defenders because they won't be turning and running at them.

I really like Nemanja Matic in midfield and I don't understand why he didn't play against West Ham over John Obi Mikel, who slows the game down. I think Matic will definitely play in this game because they need to move the ball quickly.

Man City are a side who attack from all angles and so Chelsea will need to move the ball quickly on the counter-attack. I'd like to see Ramires and Matic in there to do that.

Then there's the three attacking players of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian and if they can get into little pockets they'll cause problems behind Samuel Eto'o.

As long as they go for it, then I don't see Chelsea losing. Obviously if they go and defend then Man City will eventually create enough chances to win it.

But I've seen Man City several times and they can be very lackadaisical. Crystal Palace, Cardiff and even Watford have gone there and made chances and could have got results.

For the big games, they usually tune in but it will be interesting to see what happens if they go behind against one of the top teams in the Premier League, especially a team like Chelsea who have got the players to catch them on the break.

For me, the Premier League title race is still very much a three-way battle. Arsenal have not been playing well of late, but they are hanging in there and you never know what might happen. Look at what happened with Carl Froch against George Groves; he hung in there and ended up winning.

The games are flicking off and there will be pressure on both Manchester City and Chelsea on Monday night

But I really don't see Chelsea going there and getting beat.


back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Fine margins

Atletico will edge a close encounter with Chelsea, but Bayern will sink Real, says Guillem Balague....

Jamie Carragher

Lack of intensity

Jamie Carragher says Manchester United could not handle the power or pace of Everton....

Latest News RSS feeds

Ramires 'to face FA wrath'

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher expects Ramires to face disciplinary action from the FA.

Messi future to be resolved

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu insists Lionel Messi will be offered a new contract to keep him at the club.

Hazard misses Chelsea training

Eden Hazard missed Chelsea's open training session ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final at Atletico Madrid.

Courtois up for Chelsea test

Thibaut Courtois is delighted to have been cleared to face parent club Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.

Vintage Clarets win promotion

Burnley won promotion back to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Wigan at Turf Moor on Easter Monday.


Goal of the Week

Goal of the Week

We have picked the most stunning strikes from the past few days. Make sure you vote for your favourite.

Embarrassment for David Moyes as Everton show the Manchester United boss how they have moved on

Embarrassment for David Moyes as Everton show the Manchester United boss how they have moved on

"Are you watching David Moyes?" was the cry from the Goodison Park faithful after Everton had scored their second goal.

Best of the Weekend

Best of the Weekend

We cast an eye over the weekend's Premier League action and pick out the highlights.