Kevin De Bruyne key for Man City against Chelsea, says Shaun Goater
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 02/12/16 12:27pm
Former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater has earmarked Kevin De Bruyne as the man to watch in Saturday's clash between Manchester City and Chelsea, live on Sky Sports 1.
Goater played for City between 1998 and 2003, scoring 101 goals for the club, and ahead of Saturday's early kick-off, the ex-Bermudian international has tipped De Bruyne to perform against his old club.
"Does he have anything to prove? He's already proved it. He's come to the Premier League and he's performed absolutely exceptionally," Goater told Sky Sports News HQ.
"Yes, it'll be in his mind that he wants to play well, he typically performs at a seven, eight every game, so it'll be at the back of his mind but he'll just go and play his normal game. He'll certainly be wanting to get one over on Chelsea."
De Bruyne made just three league appearances for Chelsea during the 2014-14 season before signing for Werder Bremen in an £18m move.
The 50-time capped Belgium playmaker then signed for City in a club record £55m deal in August 2015 and has caught the eye since Pep Guardiola's arrival at the Etihad.
City are not in great form at home in recent weeks, however, drawing their last three games 1-1 against Southampton, Middlesbrough and Borussia Monchengladbach and Goater fears City's system could aid Antonio Conte's Chelsea.
"They're not as solid as Chelsea," Goater added. "Chelsea play a 3-4-3 and City for the most part also play a 3-4-3. They have names that line up as a four but he likes Fernandinho to drop between the two centre-backs.
"I think it will be a match in formations and that will suit Chelsea because they typically send four, maybe five players to be able to counter against City so it almost plays a little into Chelsea hands."
For Goater, though, the likes of De Bruyne and David Silva hold the key if City are to come away with the points.
"Where City will look to dominate is actually behind Chelsea's defence, and that's where they'll try to get Silva or De Bruyne or Yaya Toure if he's there, because they can then ask a questions of the Chelsea centre-backs.
"That's what Pep Guardiola does really well, in terms of allowing De Bruyne and Silva to get in those positions, ask questions, make runs and pass forward."