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“We need to be brave” – Pochettino rallies the troops ahead of crucial Man City clash

"We need to be brave" - Pochettino rallies the troops ahead of crucial Man City clash

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has charged his troops to be brave when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The Blues are miles away from where they’d rather be on the Premier League ranking, but a win at the home of the champions would not only improve their position on the table but also bolster the confidence in the dressing room.

It would also be a huge boost with an EFL Cup final against Liverpool on the horizon.

The last time Chelsea faced off with City, both sides delivered a Premier League classic, settling for a share of the spoils in an enthralling 4-4 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Nevertheless, the faltering Blues face a mammoth task this time around as they prepare to face Pep Guardiola’s rampant side that have won their last 13 consecutive games across all competitions.

“The lesson is that we are going to play against a very good team, one of the best in the world, but we need to be brave and force them to defend,” Pochettino said in his pre-match press conference.

“It’s a team that can dominate you. The most important thing is to go there and challenge them, be brave.”

On the injury front, Pochettino confirmed that the experienced Thiago Silva will sit out the weekend showdown with a minor injury.

The positive for the Blues is that Levi Colwill and Malo Gusto are back to full fitness, and they’re expected to feature in the starting line-up.

Robert Sanchez has also returned from a lengthy lay-off but is unlikely to displace the impressive Dorde Petrovic on Saturday, while Carney Chukwuemeka will miss the game with a twisted ankle.

Chelsea head north without eight first-team players, including captain Reece James, who has started light training as he continues his recovery from a hamstring surgery.

With that in mind, here’s our predicted Chelsea starting line-up for the crucial six-pointer against the champions.

Possible starting line-up

(4-2-3-1): Dorde Petrovic; Ben Chilwell, Levi Colwill, Axel Disasi, Malo Gusto; Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo; Nicolas Jackson, Conor Gallagher, Cole Palmer; Christopher Nkunku.

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