Wayne Bridge set to miss Chelsea game
Whether Wayne Bridge would have been sufficiently up to speed to play in the Chelsea game is now immaterial as Mark Ogden reports that he’s set to be out for two weeks with a thigh injury.
With Kolarov and Lescott also missing, Roberto Mancini is down to his fourth choice left-back for a match against the free scoring champions. Hardly ideal.
Bridge could be seen with an ice pack on his thigh after being substituted in Salzburg and it’s worth noting that both he and Balotelli are now injured as a result of Europa League fixtures. This competition is not going to do our Premier League aspirations any favours and it’s to be hoped Mancini doesn’t risk further injuries to his first choice players in the Carling Cup tomorrow night.
At least in Pablo Zabaleta, assuming he gets the nod ahead of Greg Cunningham, we’ll have a strong tackler and positionally sound player at left-back on Saturday. So long as the Argentine isn’t drawn into giving away unnecessary free-kicks we shouldn’t lose much defensively.
Offensively both Bridge and Kolarov are better equipped to carry a threat against Chelsea. We created little enough against Wigan down the left flank so it’s natural to fear for our supply to Tevez on Saturday.
With the emphasis on containment in central midfield, we could do with more attacking width from our full-backs. Hopefully Mancini will come up with something, but don’t expect to see him apologising for a cagey goalless opening to the game.