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Mangala: We are aiming for victory at Stamford Bridge



Eliaquim Mangala says City need to take the game to Chelsea on Saturday and that the champions should play their normal attacking game.

The France international also believes it doesn't matter who plays or doesn't play for either side on Saturday - just the players that do start.

Diego Costa could miss the visit of the champions if he is retrospectively banned by the FA on Friday evening, but Mangala, who arguably won a bruising duel with the Spaniard in the earlier meeting between the teams this season,  says to focus his potential absence would be foolish.

“For me it doesn’t matter if Costa is playing or not,” said Mangala. “The most important thing is to care about what we have to do. Whether it’s Costa who plays, Drogba or Loïc Rémy it’s the same thing for me. We need to beat them. No matter who is playing on the day, our target is to win that game.

“So, on a personal point of view, I always focus on what we have to do and it’s up to us to impose our game if we want to win. 

Every time we do impose our game, we are better than the other team and that's what we must do

...Eliaquim Mangala..


Costa has been one of the Premier League’s success stories this season with his goals spearheading Chelsea’s title challenge.

Mangala revealed that the former Atletico Madrid is a handful for any defender and also gave a fascinating insight into what it is like to lock horns with the powerful striker.

“Costa is a player that always tries to win a mental duel against his opponent,” he said. “He always tries to unsettle his marker or other players and distract them from playing their normal game.

“He likes to provoke a reaction but personally, I don’t respond to that. When you know that it’s what he is looking for, it’s better to ignore him because he will then realise that what he is doing is pointless. If you react he wins.”

Mangala expects Chelsea to play more like an away team on Saturday. He believes Jose Mourinho’s side will look to absorb City’s attacks and then quickly try and break forward.

“I think Chelsea will play on the counter-attack,” said the former Porto defender. “We are an attack-minded team and we will not change our style of play.

“As I said, we need to play our normal game. We know that Chelsea is a team that likes to defend, is well organised and like to counter-attacks. They have quality players but we also have a lot of quality players in our squad.

“We go there to get a result. It’s an important game against an important rival for the title. We need to close the gap with Chelsea and the best way to do that is to get a win in Stamford Bridge.”

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