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In a team full of superstars only the most critical eye can find weaknesses in Manchester City’s squad.
Close analysis, however, suggests that the Citizens’ weak spot is depth in defence.
Remove Vincent Kompany or Joleon Lescott from the starting XI, and the back four that has kept the most clean sheets in the past two seasons all of a sudden looks a lot more average.
Last season’s Chelsea team might not have been expected to rigorously test Mancini’s back four, but this season Roberto Di Matteo’s team will look a lot different.
The acquisitions of Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar (who will not feature) have injected youth and flair into an aging and one dimensional midfield. Combined with the pre-existing talent of Juan Mata and Frank Lampard, chances will be in abundance for Fernando Torres up front.
The Spaniard should feel rejuvenated after European success on a domestic and international level. He won the Golden Boot in the Euros and scored a goal against Italy in the final.
This, combined with the absence of Didier Drogba, should give Torres the ideal platform to re-establish himself as one of the world’s leading strikers.
In the likely event that Torres flops, there will be plenty of midfield reinforcement to Chelsea’s attack, especially with Hazard and Marin exposing Manchester City’s lack of width.
All of this provides the Citizens with a fantastic opportunity to test their defence against a team with a plethora of attacking promise; if any weaknesses have crept in, they will easily be addressed ahead of their Premier League opener against Southampton.