Ian Wright believes Chelsea can cause problems for Manchester City with counter-attacking football which he claims suits their main striker Romelu Lukaku more than a possession-based approach.
The Blues are currently 10 points behind the league leaders ahead of their visit to the Etihad Stadium.
Obviously, a Chelsea win would hardly change anything in terms of the title race, but as Tuchel previously pointed out, his team will not stop chasing Manchester City.
The question is: Can Chelsea stop Pep Guardiola’s incredibly consistent team?
Chelsea have had a positive record against Manchester City under Tuchel, including the 2-1 win at Etihad Stadium last season.
However, the 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, in which Chelsea failed to register a shot on target throughout the game, suggests Manchester City have only got better this season.
Wright thinks that in order to win, Chelsea would not have to compete with Manchester City in terms of possession since they have two great counter-attacking weapons in N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku.
Chelsea have two players that suit counter-attacking football, says Wright
“When you look at the way they could play, Chelsea could easily let City come onto them,” the former Arsenal striker said on The Kelly and Wrighty Show (via Optus Sport).
“You’ve got Kante. He could break down play, and he’s so good progressively in his passing forward.
“And if he does get Lukaku in that position, on the right-hand or left-hand side, get on the ball, running at teams…
“We saw what Arsenal did to City — you can get at them, and you can hurt them.
“So you can easily see them [Chelsea] play like that or are they going to try to retain possession against City and see if they can get it through to Lukaku, which is not his real strength?
“It’s going to be interesting to see.”
Well, in the previous Champions League final, Manchester City actually had more possession than Chelsea, who still had more shot on target in the end, so Wright had a point.
It remains unclear, however, whether Kante, whose work rate played a crucial role in the Champions League final win, is back to full fitness after his recent Covid-19 absence.
Tuchel will still likely name the France international among the starters given the level of the opponents, but playing counter-attacking football when Kante is not at his best will be very risky for Chelsea.
Lukaku also played 90 minutes against Tottenham in midweek, which might have indicated Tuchel’s plan to use Kai Havertz in the central forward role.