Football

Pep Guardiola picks out two Chelsea players for special praise

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As far as weekends of football go, the first of December 2016 isn’t half bad.

Aside from the glitz and glamour of El Clasico, the Premier League is littered with intriguing clashes such as West Ham versus Arsenal and Manchester United’s trip to Everton.

However, that’s all well and good, but nothing compares to Chelsea against Manchester City as far as English football is concerned. After all, it sees two of the league’s top three fight it out for three undoubtedly vital points.

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Big money clash

Whenever Chelsea versus City comes around in the Premier League, we are reminded as to the financial brawn of the respective sides. In fact, the fixture often showcases some of the most expensive starting XIs in the game.

That remains the case this season with a plethora of gripping duels littering the match.

Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero are level in the Golden Boot standings with 10 strikes apiece. Meanwhile, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola are, without doubt, two of the beautiful game’s greatest tacticians.

Throw in the fact that both are embroiled in a remarkably tight title race in a furiously competitive league and you have yourself, at least on paper, a classic.

Special praise

Based on form going into the game, Chelsea must be considered favourites. After all, the Blues have won their last seven league clashes and conceded just once in 630 minutes.

Therefore, Guardiola may have some specific worries ahead of the fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

In fact, according to Goal.com, the Spanish tactician has singled out two Chelsea stars for special praise. The players in question? Costa and Pedro.

When asked about Conte’s brutish striker, the 45-year-old explained: "He’s a top player. He made an amazing season at Atletico and then came here. He's a top player. He is a top scorer and has good movement when he runs in behind."

As for Pedro, he stated: "I hope Pedro doesn't perform well.

"I have to thank him, he made me a better manager. He works great between the lines, near the box he's a killer. He is one of the quickest players when it's time to shoot."

Potential concern

Is Guardiola just sticking up for his compatriots? Perhaps. Besides, you can’t imagine him turning down Eden Hazard if he had the chance to sign him.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that the Manchester City boss is both aware and wary of Chelsea’s impressive offensive arsenal. Conte’s men have, after all, been flourishing to an unprecedented degree in the 3-4-3 formation.

That being said, if Guardiola can channel the performance of the league Manchester derby, tearing down Chelsea is entirely possible. The Blues’ start to the season underlines just how beatable they can be.

What is for sure though is that it has all the makings of a classic.

Who do you think will win - Manchester City or Chelsea? Have YOUR say in the comment box below

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
Chelsea
UEFA Champions League
Eden Hazard

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