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Chelsea have been handed a huge boost by Bernardo Silva’s ban

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Chelsea will face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on November 23rd as they look to win their eighth away game in a row in all competitions, as well as their seventh consecutive Premier League game.

A match against Pep Guardiola’s side will be a daunting proposition, even despite their 3-1 loss against Liverpool last Sunday. They are the English champions and have an abundance of attacking quality.

The Blues, though, have been handed a boost by the FA of all people. Bernardo Silva has been banned for one match, whilst he has also received a £50,000 fine following a tweet he sent to teammate Benjamin Mendy that was adjudged to have constituted an “aggravated breach” of England’s football authority’s social media laws.

As such, it means the Portugal international, who moved to Manchester in 2017 for £43m, will be absent when the Stamford Bridge outfit travel north. It is news that should make Frank Lampard even more confident of getting a result.

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The 25-year-old is a fantastic footballer, and stands out even amongst the depth of quality Guardiola has at his disposal. Last season he scored 13 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions as he appeared in all but two Premier League matches for the side. Such was the quality of his displays, he was voted Manchester City’s Player of the Year.

This term, too, he has started well. He has five goals and three assists in 17 appearances, with his latest strike coming against the Reds at the weekend.

With Riyad Mahrez available to come in, it can be argued that he can be easily replaced. But it is his defensive qualities that are perhaps even more important. Last campaign, Silva had the most tackles per game out of any of City’s attackers, with 1.4, whilst it is the same story this term as well.

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His work-rate is a huge bonus to the Citizens, and Chelsea can take advantage of his absence. Whilst Guardiola will unlikely change his system, there may end up being slightly less pressure on the Blues’ defence, which will benefit Lampard’s players. Considering the injuries City are also having to contend with, such as Aymeric Laporte’s problem, there may never be a better time for the Stamford Bridge outfit to get all three points.

Article title: Chelsea have been handed a huge boost by Bernardo Silva’s ban

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