Put Skis on Hazard and He Could Win Gold at the Winter Olympics! EXPERT ANALYSIS; KEOWN REDKNAPP POLL

Daily Mail (London), February 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Put Skis on Hazard and He Could Win Gold at the Winter Olympics! EXPERT ANALYSIS; KEOWN REDKNAPP POLL


Byline: LEE CLAYTON

IT had become the Barclays Premier League fixture of the season ... so Sportsmail invited Jamie Redknapp, Martin Keown and Graham Poll to sit through 90 minutes of action and give their verdicts. Head of Sport LEE CLAYTON listened in.

KEOWN: Fernandinho's absence is a big loss for City. I don't fancy Martin Demichelis in midfield at all. In fact, it makes me think I might put my boots back on! There's a chance for Chelsea here. How bold will they be?

REDKNAPP: There will be a lot of people tuning in, hoping for Jose to fail in this game. After his unfair criticism of West Ham, the rest of football was looking on, saying: 'OK, let's see what you've got then...' My dad thinks Chelsea win this. Not many others do.

POLL: You can see the tension in the game and what it means to both teams. Vincent Kompany just got away with a strong tackle from behind on Samuel Eto'o, then screamed at his partner Matija Nastasic. I don't recall you falling out with any of your defensive partners, Martin. Not much, anyway.

KEOWN: Only occasionally! That was Kompany, the captain, feeling a little hot under the collar. This has the feel of a huge game. Ramires looks a threat on the break to me. City will have to deal with that. Remember that game in Barcelona when he was such a threat going forward? 15mins: No team have kept a clean sheet at City's stadium since Birmingham in November 2010. Have Chelsea come to defend? 'Are you West Ham in disguise?' mock the City fans.

REDKNAPP: I'm loving this start. It's fast and furious but with quality. The passing is so crisp. Yaya Toure just set up a chance for David Silva, who should have scored. Sergio Aguero would have scored that.

POLL: Interesting, that. Players are criticised for going down too easily, but Yaya stayed on his feet running into the box when there was close attention. He might have gone down.

REDKNAPP: City work so hard without the ball. They hunt from the front. They press high and they have energy without the ball. You'd class David Silva as a luxury player, but he puts some miles in chasing the ball. They have a problem, though, because Demichelis is out of his depth in there. He's not a midfielder.

KEOWN: When Chelsea spring forward, City are missing the wheels of Fernandinho to cover and protect. They are exposed. Mourinho has set up a team to do a job at both ends of the pitch, but Eto'o doesn't have the power he once had, which is a weakness for Chelsea. Imagine Luis Suarez in this team. Mourinho has been ruthless in his selection, leaving out Oscar, but Willian is making up for it with his energy.

REDKNAPP: We talk about financial fair play, but Fernandinho's value is going up with every Chelsea attack. Chelsea have just had a four-v-two situation and they are beginning to get a grip on the game. They have not come to park the bus at all. They've come to win. It really does look as though Mourinho has got his team selection spot on.

32mins: Ivanovic 1-0.

REDKNAPP: Fantastic technique from Eden Hazard to set up that chance ... he is becoming as important to this team as Suarez is to Liverpool. Or Aguero is to City. And he's only 22.

KEOWN: That goal was about intent, Jamie. Did you see there were five Chelsea players in attacking areas? The game plan is working perfectly. City need to get the ball into their front two more quickly. We haven't seen enough of Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko so far.

POLL: We haven't seen much of any City players since the early exchanges. …

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