Jamie Redknapp: Why Chelsea look so strong ahead of Man City clash
Jamie Redknapp has hailed Chelsea's magnificent manager Antonio Conte
Jamie Redknapp has warned Manchester City that Chelsea look very strong under Antonio Conte ahead of Saturday’s clash at The Etihad.
The Italian coach has masterminded a seven-game winning run in the Premier League to leave the west London side a point clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Chelsea have scored 19 times and have kept six clean sheets in their last seven top-flight outings since a 3-0 loss to title rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in September.
The Blues have beaten Hull City, Leicester City, Manchester United, Southampton, Everton, Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur to underline their status as genuine title contenders.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have been in scintillating form to hoist the west London side to the top of the Premier League table after 13 games.
And Redknapp believes the credit must go to Conte for transforming Chelsea after a winless September.
“Conte has been magnificent,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“What he has realised very quickly is that Chelsea needed to change the system and he’s done it. He’s gone back to a system that he really likes, playing players you would never imagine could play in the wing-back positions, and it has really worked for them. They look so strong.
“What he has also managed to do is extract the Eden Hazard of 18 months ago and got him playing to that level that makes such a difference. He’s got Diego Costa buzzing, the joint-top scorer in the Premier League, and they’ll be playing against a City side who over the last 18 months have been pretty much flat-track bullies.”
Conte was appointed as Guus Hiddink’s permanent successor after Chelsea’s tenth-placed finish last term.