Borussia Dortmund star Lewandowski has been strongly suggested as potential target for Chelsea, as Jose Mourinho will surely be looking for a bit of attacking support this January.
If he’s serious about trying to poach the Pole from under the nose of Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, he’ll be glued to his TV set this evening when one of his defenders goes up against Lewandowski in a direct confrontation.
Cahill has played superbly for England throughout the World Cup qualification campaign, thriving in difficult environments and he’ll see this is another match to show his quality, pushing for a recall into the Chelsea first team.
There are several ways that Cahill can deal with Lewandowski and if Mourinho watches the centre forward slip inside the pocket of the Chelsea centre back, he may not be so keen to go for him this winter, especially with Cahill out of the first team at Chelsea right now.
Cahill and Lewandowski are quite well matched physically and in terms of speed but the striker’s movement means Cahill can’t get too tight, otherwise he might get turned quite easily.
Cahill is intercepting the ball well this season based on his performances in the Premier League, which shows he reads the game well and gets into good positions to deal with difficult situations.
He also wins a lot of aerial duels, 4.5 per league match on average, which means if Lewandowski wants to turn the confrontation into a physical one, he’ll more than likely miss out.
Lewandowski doesn’t restrict himself and he can produce his best form whether he drops off from the attack or whether he’s playing on the shoulder of a centre back and looking to get in behind.
If he tries to drop off, it’s important Cahill doesn’t follow him, which will leave a gaping great hole in the heart of England’s back four.
Cahill’s making just under 60 passes per match at the moment with a passing success rate of 87% which would be difficult to do if he was always breaking out of position so he should have enough to deal with that side of Lewandowski’s game.
His stats also suggest that his timing against strikers playing on his shoulder this season is very good with an offside per match based on Premier League appearances.
If Lewandowski sits on Cahill, the Chelsea man is good enough to step up when through balls are attempted to deploy that offside trap, with the pace to recover if he doesn’t get it wrong.
It’s a battle that Mourinho and plenty of Chelsea fans will be watching this evening to see if the Pole could give some of the best defences in the Premier League a real problem.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald