Chelsea Greatest Fan's XI vs Manchester City Greatest Fan's XI

Chelsea have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, while Manchester City seem to be crumbling under the weight of expectation. Will the balance of power shift when their greatest XIs meet?
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Chelsea have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence since the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, while Manchester City seem to be crumbling under the weight of expectation. Will the balance of power shift when their greatest XIs meet?


Chelsea Greatest Fan's XI vs Manchester City Greatest Fan's XI... 

Chelsea’s Greatest XI by Laurence Ettridge

GK: Petr Cech

In my opinion still the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. Granted he has spent most of his time working behind one of Chelsea’s best defences but he has consistently pulled off superb saves when called upon – not to mention coming back as good as ever after that horrific head injury. 10

LB: Ashley Cole

Despite perhaps being one of the most hated men in football, Cole’s contributions down the left have been outstanding for Chelsea. Reliable in defence and always making strides to get forward – he probably puts in a harder shift than any other player. 10

CB: John Terry

Captain and talisman. What JT maybe lacks in agility these days he makes up for with his experience and reading of the game. A great presence on the pitch and has successfully marshalled one of the best defences the Premier League has seen to three league titles. 9

CB: Marcel Desailly

Often known as “the rock” Desailly provided a formidable strong presence in the heart of the Blues defence for six years and won an FA Cup in the process. 8

RB: Ron “Chopper” Harris

Just a little before my time but the recommendations of my dad have been duly noted to include a few Chelsea legends. Chopper appeared just shy of 800 times for the club, which is obviously a great service. He was often noted for his physical approach – particularly in the FA Cup final in 1970. 8

CM: Claude Makelele

He made the defensive role his own under Mourinho. In recent years the formation with a holding midfielder has by far worked the best for Chelsea and none have taken on the role as well as Makelele. He rarely ventured forward of the halfway line but achieved a 100% shots to goals ratio in the 06-07 season (one shot, one goal). 10

LM: Gianfranco Zola

Not many will ever look as good in a Chelsea shirt as Gianfranco Zola. Anchored by Makelele I can see him cutting in from the left at will, both creating and scoring in my hypothetical mang*sm of a team. An absolute boyhood hero, he was incredible – on the ball, from set-pieces, everywhere. The best.  10

CM: Dennis Wise

An almost purely nostalgic choice here. Wise was a little terrier of a player who Sir Alex Ferguson once described as being able to start a fight in an empty house. But seeing Dennis lift the FA Cup in 1997 as captain is a joy of a childhood memory. 8

RM: Alan Hudson

Another dad recommendation here. Hudson was an Osgood-era playmaker and played in every game in the lead up to the final in 1970 – in this diamond formation no doubt he would have been able to create great service to the front. 9

ST: Peter Osgood It doesn’t even take my old man to point me in the direction of this Chelsea legend. Peter Osgood – “The King of Stamford Bridge” and the only player to have a statue erected at the ground, he won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup and scored over 150 goals for the club. 10

ST: Jimmy Greaves Yes, Torres has just missed the cut – would you believe it? I’ve decided to complete my 11 with another Chelsea legend. Although he won no trophies in his time at the Bridge he still holds the club record for the most goals scored in a season with 41. 9

Chelsea Total: 101

Manchester City Greatest XI

GK – Bert Trautmann

My granddad, who survived the war, always had a strong aversion to former Manchester United stopper Gary Bailey, claiming that he looked like an SS officer. A strange prejudice to hold against a South African but there you go. His hero however was another keeper, a German paratrooper in possession of an Iron Cross. This startling contradiction illustrates just what a profound impact Bert had in post-war Britain, his popularity and brave, majestic talent transcending football. 9

RB – Tony Book

After nearly a decade playing at non-league level Malcolm Allison brought Book to City where the 32-year old flourished through an incredible Indian summer captaining the side through our most successful period to date and receiving the Footballer of the Year award in 1969. 242 appearances and forever Mr Man City he was as reliable as he is decent. 9

LB – Paul Power

Came to my school making precisely two kids out of two hundred very excited (me and my brother) Paul was Manchester born-and-bred and led his side out at Wembley on three occasions. His cultured left foot struck several long-range beauties not least the winner against Ipswich in the 1981 FA Cup semi-final. His name also lends itself to a nice bit of rhyming slang for an alternative to a bath. 7

CB – Mike Doyle

The granite heart and soul of City Doyle was an uncompromising tough-as-nails stopper who wore his heart on his sleeve. And his heart was blue. His renowned loathing of all things United would have made him bang up for this clash. 8

CB – Vincent Kompany

The temptation to include Dave Watson was superceded by the idea of the classy colossus Vinnie pairing up with Doyle. A dream partnership of silk and steel that would take some beating. Signing this sublime defender is the reason I will never hate Mark Hughes. 8

CM – Paul Lake

Both club and country were building their teams around this extraordinary talent – a lad barely out of his teens –until injury cruelly deprived him, and us, of an extraordinary talent. Paul could play anywhere due to his innate reading of the game. To a very select few it just comes easy. Top flight football equated to a casual kickabout in the park and the sight of his galloping elegance remains a highlight of my youth. 8

CM – Colin Bell

The King. Suitably nicknamed Nijinsky for having the stamina of the racehorse and stylish elan of the ballet dancer, Colin was the complete footballer and one of the top ten greatest players this country has ever produced. So good that City wouldn’t be able to afford him today. 10

AM – Georgi Kinkladze

A head-down weaver of the highest quality, Kinky lit up the dark times with his mazy individual genius. Was so far advanced of his team-mates it was akin to Pele in his pomp playing five-a-side down my local leisure centre. His winner against Southampton where he took half their side apart before dinking it over the despairing keeper with impish ease is sufficient to get him into this side alone. The best goal I’ve ever seen by some considerable distance. 7

AM – David Silva

Though only 5ft 7 ‘Dreamy’ David appears to follow the ebb and flow of a game from an elevated position. Is allergic to losing possession, has a finely-tuned football intelligence and magical feet. I always said it would take a very special player to supplant Paul Lake as my favourite City player of all time. After hearing what Lakey had to say about the Spanish maestro earlier this year I think he’ll understand. We are all under Merlin’s spell. 9

AM – Peter Doherty

One for the old guard. I’ve not seen a single clip of the pre-war Northern Irish inside-left but all the old boys insist he was the greatest City ever had. Their opinion is worth far more than my own so it’s a reluctant demotion of Young, Summerbee and, my own personal favourite, Bernarbia, to the bench. 9

CF – Francis Lee

Lee Won Pen, in fact he won countless of them, our barrel-chested future chairman regularly threw his burly frame to the floor like a dying albatross in an era before diving became fashionable. He was a visionary. Joking aside he was also an extraordinary centre-forward who grafted his backside off to create opportunities before finishing them off with a deceptively silken touch. Great player. Bad chairman.  9

Manchestery City Total - 94

The Result: Manchester City 94 - Chelsea 101

It didn't always look like it was going to end up this way. David Silva was conducting the City play for a good portion of the game, and it looked like one way traffic. Then Dennis Wise start kicking his legs out from under him and feeding his more creative midfield comrades, Zola and Hudson linking beautifully in the final third to put City's defence to the sword, and Petr Cech saving a late Francis Lee penalty to keep West London singing.

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