This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Paul Merson has said in his Sky Sports column that Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham can cause Manchester City problems when Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium after the international break.
The Citizens were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool last Sunday, which means they are now nine points behind the Reds and the top of the table. They are also one point behind the Blues, so the match in Manchester could prove to be a difficult proposition for Pep Guardiola and co.
Former Arsenal player Merson certainly thinks so, and he has named three players who can cause issues for the champions. He wrote:
“You have to remember that City have Chelsea at home next who are good going forward and if you are talking about a team who are going to give you problems at the back with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic.”
Abraham, Mount and Pulisic will certainly be ones to look out for a week on Saturday. Between them, they have 19 goals in the Premier League, which is more than the whole squads of Arsenal and Manchester United have managed.
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However, one other Chelsea star is the true danger man City need to worry about.
Willian, despite being amongst the elder statesmen in the squad at the age of 31, has played a big role in Lampard’s side already this term. He has started eight Premier League matches, scoring two goals and providing three assists, whilst his recent nomination for the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for October show his displays have been recognised beyond the Stamford Bridge dugout.
On the right-wing, he has the ability to cause the Citizens a whole host of problems. At left-back, the Etihad side are unsettled, with Oleksandr Zinchenko, Angelino and Benjamin Mendy having all taken up the role already in the Premier League. None of them have averaged a WhoScored rating of over seven, whilst Willian has averaged 7.29.
Whoever is given the nod next week will have a hard time stopping the 69-time Brazil international in this kind of form. City may be struggling at the moment, but if Willian is firing, their season may get a whole lot worse very fast.