Chelsea V Man City at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

20 February 2016 03:34
Chelsea V Man City - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Guus Hiddink wants Chelsea players to play with joy

Guus Hiddink has encouraged players to rediscover their love for the game and play in the moment since taking caretaker charge of Chelsea.

Hiddink suffered his first loss of his second spell in interim control last Tuesday at Paris St Germain and goes into Sunday's FA Cup fifth round against Manchester City seeking a victory to extend his 100 per cent record in the competition.

The Dutchman won the trophy in 2009 after Chelsea beat Watford, Coventry, Arsenal and, at Wembley in the final, Everton.

Chelsea won the Premier League and Capital One Cup last season, but their astonishing fall and the departure of Jose Mourinho in mid-December led to Hiddink being called upon to restore stability for a second time.

"Deep down you must play with joy," Hiddink said.

"If you play with joy then the best comes out of a player. Joy is not always laughing. It is enjoying being a professional, enjoying training and doing your job, which is sometimes tough.

"But if you enjoy it and if you do it, not all day smiling, but you feel a little bit natural, then I think the performance is unconditioned."

Hiddink did not wish to comment on Mourinho's methods, but his approach seems to have paid off, with the loss in Paris the first defeat since the Portuguese's final game in charge, at Leicester.

"They came out of a very difficult situation in the last half year, we cannot deny that," Hiddink added.

"I did not want to note too much about the past, I wanted to go in the way to get the best out of the team, which is the way we did it.

"Relaxed is when you (cross) your arms, the sun comes and you have your pina colada. That is relaxed.

"This is not relaxed. This is trying to get the best out of the players. One player, you have to embrace. Another player you have to pinch a bit.

"Everyone has his different approach, to get the best out of them, then add it to the team performance."

Chelsea captain John Terry is sidelined with a hamstring injury while midfielder Nemanja Matic is available following his European suspension, but Alexandre Pato is still short of match fitness and Kurt Zouma (knee) and Radamel Falcao (thigh) are long-term absentees.

The two sides meet in the FA Cup for the third time in four seasons.

Manuel Pellegrini's side won the previous two, beating the holders in the 2013 semi-final and winning a fifth-round tie at the Etihad in 2014.

But Pellegrini is sticking to his threat to field a weakened side for the latest clash.

City have been frustrated by the scheduling of the game because they have arranged to travel to Ukraine on Monday ahead of Wednesday's Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev. After flying home following that game they will then have just two full days to prepare for the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley.

City wanted the tie played on Saturday but that proved impossible with Fulham at home on the same day and the BBC also choosing to televise the tie.

The club wrote to the Football Association to complain but the outcome of that protest is unknown and Pellegrini appears to be standing by his plan to play youngsters.

Pellegrini said: "I think unfortunately at this moment we have just 13 (senior outfield) players available to play. We have to play Champions League on Wednesday, so we'll see what will be the best team we can put on the pitch for the FA Cup.

"I said a couple of weeks ago if you want to protect the English team in the Champions League the game was (played on) Saturday - but for different reasons we couldn't play that day."

Making wholesale changes is generally against Pellegrini's nature with his usual policy always to retain a solid core while perhaps allowing a handful of senior stars a rest.

But the Chilean is hampered by a series of injuries to key men with Bacary Sagna, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne, Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph, Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony all out.

He therefore feels on this occasion he would be justified in taking, for example, players such as Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero out of the firing line.

Pellegrini said: "We always try to play with a strong team in every competition - every competition is important, especially the FA Cup.

"We have had two difficult draws against Premier League teams in the two rounds before, but we won 4-0 and 3-0, so we are very interested in continuing in this cup.

"But we must prioritise the Champions League. The priority is (usually) the next game but maybe we are going to make an exception now because of the amount of players we have injured."

Source: PAR

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