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Mix ‘n’ Match: Strike partner to aid Torres in Man City/Chelsea team

| 22.02.2013

In the pick of the weekend’s Premier League action, Chelsea travel to Premier League champions Manchester City, with both sides aiming to build on strong FA Cup results.

And as our combined starting lineup suggests, there should be little to choose between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.

The team is virtually split down the middle, with room for a player from each of the Premier League giants in every outfield position.

But perhaps most controversially, we plump for Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech between the sticks.

Whilst the highly-coveted Joe Hart has proven himself to be a fantastic goalkeeper over the past three seasons, crucial mistakes still creep into his game with alarming regularity.

As such, we choose Czech Republic international Cech, who has made almost twice as many saves as his England counterpart this season in fewer league games.

In a trend set to continue, we next opt for one from each club in the full-back positions, with Pablo Zabaleta and Ashley Cole the type of commodities now rare in the modern game.

That being, the right-back and left-back are equally as capable at defending as they are attacking, traits that have contributed to their sides possessing the top two Premier League defensive records this term.

Vincent Kompany has contributed greatly to City’s haul of 11 clean sheets too, and he partners John Terry at the heart of a battle-hardened defence.

Higher up the pitch meanwhile, Yaya Toure and Frank Lampard provide the base of a midfield highly capable of chipping in with a significant amount of goals.

Whilst Lampard has adapted to a deeper role for Chelsea this season, he remains a massive threat in front of goal, as does the marauding Toure, whose discipline would aid this team immensely.

The Ivorian is superb at choosing his moments to support the attack too, and ice-cool when a goalscoring opportunity presents itself, as his nine seasonal strikes last term demonstrated.

Out wide, Spanish pairing David Silva and Juan Mata will make up for a lack of pace with genuine guile and creativity.

Two of the most naturally gifted footballers in the Premier League, the diminutive schemers have 17 top flight assists between them this season, whilst Mata has scored as many times in all competitions.

And their style of play together would have the potential to cause mayhem in tandem with a strike partnership that loves to nip in behind defences.

Fernando Torres has looked a shadow of his former self operating as a lone frontman in recent times, but in Sergio Aguero he could have the perfect foil to play off.

A deceptively strong and unselfish player, Aguero’s 23 league goals last season prove he has the ability to ease the goalscoring burden on Torres, who could flourish as a result.

Evenly matched in terms of personnel up and down the pitch, the draw may make the most appeal to punters when these sides meet, available as a 5/2 chance.

Those wishing to back the home side can have 1/1 meanwhile, whilst a win for the visiting Blues is priced at 13/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



John Klee