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Ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the Etihad Stadium this weekend to face Manchester City, Chelsea legend Pat Nevin is hoping Chelsea boss Frank Lampard don’t repeat the mistakes of Maurizio Sarri against Manchester City last season by playing too open at the Etihad.
Chelsea lost 6-0 at the Etihad last season to Manchester City.
“Manchester City are like no other club in England, not only because they have some of the best players in the world, at their best they play some of the best football on the planet too. In fact their football against us last season at the Etihad was out of this world,” Nevin told the Chelsea’s official website.
“Even so, I really feel this weekend is a good time to be facing the reigning champions, not because they are weak but because the belief within our own squad is so strong.
“Yet again Frank Lampard and the lads will know they are underdogs and upstarts against such an established outfit. Last season’s 6-0 hammering is still in the back of every supporter’s mind, but that is the case for every team that comes up against Pep’s side. They can do that if you are not careful, not organised and not at your very best defensively.
“When Maurizio Sarri took us up there last season I was very concerned. I knew he would want us to stand toe-to-toe with them. I felt it might be a naive and dangerous tactic.
“I can recall driving the four hours down to the game and telling my wife and son repeatedly, this could get very bad and if it is then we should all stick by the team, because that is what the travelling Chelsea fans do. They thought I was exaggerating or being negative but it was just realism.
“The question is, do I feel the same this week? Should we be wary or even scared of another thumping that might negatively affect our youngsters in particular? We have a younger side than last October and a young manager who is likely to put those lads out there with an even more open, attacking outlook than we did last season.
“That in itself suggests that naivety could once again be a concern. City are currently like a wounded animal, desperate to make amends for their mauling at Anfield two weeks ago. On top of this, the game is away from home where City only lost three games in the two previous Premier League campaigns.
“For us, this in many respects is just another test of how far we have come in such a short time. Even if we lost heavily, it would not be a disaster, it would simply show us how high the next step is.”