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.

PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Niall Quinn

Quinn: Sanchez can be main man

Niall Quinn backed Alexis Sanchez to fill the goalscoring void left by the injured Olvier Giroud at Arsenal....

Kevin Phillips

Phillips: Giants have no excuses

Premier League sides have no excuse for going out to lower-league teams in cup ties, says Kevin Phillips....

Football League Bloggers

Andrews: Dons deserved it

Keith Andrews explains how a strong philosophy and shrewd signings saw MK Dons record their greatest win....

Latest News RSS feeds

Arsenal dig in to qualify

Arsenal survived the final 15 minutes with 10-men to defeat 1-0 Besiktas to reach the Champions League group stages.

Live transfer updates

Milan hold Fernando Torres talks. Bayern land Medhi Benatia while Spurs capture Federico Fazio from Sevilla.

MK Dons handed Bradford tie

MK Dons' reward for knocking Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup is a third-round home tie against Bradford.

Giroud out until New Year

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is unlikely to play again this year after having surgery on his injured ankle.

Burton claim shock QPR scalp

Adam McGurk struck a late free-kick as Burton claimed a shock win over QPR in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Features

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.

Champions League group draw: Follow it live on Sky Sports on Thursday

Champions League group draw: Follow it live on Sky Sports on Thursday

Sky Sports is the best place to follow Thursday’s draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: We look at which player you should sign out of Mario Balotelli and Angel Di Maria

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: We look at which player you should sign out of Mario Balotelli and Angel Di Maria

Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout Tim Clement weighs up which big-money signing is most likely to rack up points for your side this season.