Guardiola must find an answer to Kante, Jorginho
The sixth weekend of the English Premier League 2021-22 season is set to kick-off with a mouth-watering tie between defending EPL champions Manchester City and European champions Chelsea in London at 5:30pm Saturday.
Home team Chelsea will be looking to continue their table topping form of just one draw and four wins in their first five matches.
On the other hand, Man City are currently in fifth place with three wins, a draw, and a loss.
Man City will be particularly desperate to take all three points as Chelsea handed them three successive defeats last season, including in the Uefa Champions League final.
How will Pep beat the Chelsea counter?
Man City manager Pep Guardiola and Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel are two of the best coaches in the world, so any tie between the two is bound to be a fascinating tactical encounter.
The key battle in the match is likely to be between the Man City midfield and Chelsea’s midfield and defence, especially given that the Citizens do not have an out-and-out striker following their failed pursuit of Harry Kane over the summer.
Guardiola and Tuchel both prefer possession-based systems, but the latter adopted a more defensive approach in all of his victories against Man City last season.
The Chelsea midfield pairing of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho were exemplary at winning the ball back and quickly transitioning to attack, allowing their speedy forwards to exploit the Man City back line.
Who will win?
Guardiola tried three different midfield configurations to beat the Chelsea press last season (two defensive midfielders, single defensive midfielder, and no defensive midfielders) but none were successful.
Furthermore, the addition of Romelu Lukaku to the Chelsea attack makes them even more lethal if Man City lose the ball.
If Man City are to finally break the Chelsea block, the key man will be their marquee summer signing Jack Grealish.
Although not a striker, Grealish has been one of the most creative players in the premier league over the past few seasons, and he can tear through any defence on his day.
It is difficult to imagine Guardiola, widely acknowledged as the best manager in the world, losing to another manager four times in a row.
However, it will take all of his genius to stop yet another Chelsea victory at Stamford Bridge.