Pochettino vows Chelsea will attack Man City

AFP , Friday 16 Feb 2024

Mauricio Pochettino has promised his Chelsea side will attack Manchester City when they travel to the Premier League champions' Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino smiles as he arrives for the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Chelsea at Selhurst Park in south London on February 12, 2024. Photo: AFP


Chelsea and City drew a memorable game 4-4 at Stamford Bridge in November, with former City player Cole Palmer scoring a penalty in stoppage time for the hosts to snatch a point.

Chelsea have endured mixed fortunes since, losing half of their 12 league fixtures, though they could climb to a season-high seventh place with victory against Pep Guardiola's side, depending on results elsewhere.

With 14 games to go, Chelsea have already scored three more league goals than they managed in the whole of the previous campaign, when only four sides netted fewer.

Chelsea manager Pochettino insisted there was no chance his team would sit and wait for City, who have lost just once at home in the English top flight in almost two years, to come on to them.

"If we go there and wait to see what's going on, it's a team that can dominate you and will make you suffer," the Argentine said on Friday. "The most important thing we realised is that we need to attack, be able to run and to make the effort all together.

"The most important thing is to go there and be brave, to challenge them."

Saturday's game will be the first time Palmer has returned to the Etihad since his £40 million ($50 million) move to west London in September.

Before making the switch, the 21-year-old scored for City in this season's Community Shield, which was lost on penalties to Arsenal, and in the UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla.

He is top scorer for his new club, with 12 in all competitions, and has been arguably the standout success of co-owner Todd Boehly's £1 billion transfer spend.

Palmer had previously hinted he joined Chelsea because he feared he would not get sufficient game time at City.

"He's not the type of player that needs to prove anything," said Pochettino. I think he really is very grateful for his period at Manchester City, (but) he left the club because he wanted to find another challenge and to have the possibility to play more.

"Man City have an amazing squad. (Clubs) make decisions that we think are the best for the team. It doesn't mean someone is not a good player.

"Sometimes the circumstance doesn't match. Players want to leave and you can't stop them because you can't provide the game time."

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