Manchester City v Chelsea: Tough ask for Conte’s men in quest to keep pace with rivals
After thirty-eight minutes of last Sunday’s clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, everything was going to plan for Antonio Conte’s men as the Blues led with a Willian goal after 32 minutes.
United striker, Romelu Lukaku levelled the game soon after, and produced a fine cross for Jesse Lingard to head home with fifteen minutes remaining to leave Chelsea languishing in the race for next season’s Champions League qualification.
Their task does not get any easier on Sunday – kick-off 16:00 – as Chelsea return to Manchester to face champions elect, City, who are only a few victories away from claiming this season’s Premier League crown.
Chelsea currently trail fourth-placed Tottenham by two points, Liverpool by four and Manchester United by six points in the league standings, and with those clubs all having winnable fixtures over the weekend, it is imperative that Chelsea do not give up further ground against City.
+18 / play responsibly / T&C apply
The bookmakers believe Chelsea’s task to gain a vital away win at the Etihad Stadium is a difficult ask, as City are the overwhelming favourites to make it 14 wins from 15 Premier League games on home soil this season.
Betfred offer the best available odds on Pep Guardiola’s men of 13/20 for the Sky Blues to continue their irrepressible march towards Premier League glory. The Draw is best-priced at 10/3 with Black Type, while a victory for the West Londoners chould be taken with MarathonBet at 24/5.
Reigning champions Chelsea will be hoping to repeat their 3-1 win at the Etihad from last season, when City ended the game with nine men. Three second half goals gave Conte’s men a well-deserved victory.
It is fair to say that City have improved dramatically, while Chelsea have either regressed or stood still since that victory last season. Only Everton have stopped Manchester City claiming all three points in front of their home support in the league in 2017/18, and I don’t expect anything else than a home victory here.
Individual Goal Scorers
Manchester City striker, Sergio Aguero trails Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot, but he could move nearer to his rivals by scoring first here. Boylesports are the top price of 7/2 for the Argentinian hot-shot to continue his fine scoring run.
Fellow City striker, Gabriel Jesus has been nursed back from injury in recent weeks, but Guardiola could decide to start the Brazilian star – especially as Aguero has been heavily used of late. Jesus can be backed at 4/1 with bet365. This looks a solid wager provided he is in the starting eleven.
Chelsea’s first interest in the opening goal scorer market comes from Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata – are both 8/1 shots with Boylesports. Hazard has undoubted quality who can give any defence serious problems, so City will have to be on their guard to keep him quiet. Morata was arguably unfortunate in having a goal disallowed at Old Trafford last Sunday, so the Spanish international will be attempting for recompense here.
A couple of others to consider at bigger prices are Chelsea’s Willian – who looked unplayable at Old Trafford in parts. The Brazilian midfielder is a best priced 12/1 with Boylesports and is a player at the top of his game currently. City’s German midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan has popped up with some crucial goals at specific times this season and is also worthy of consideration at 16/1 with bet365.
Other Side Bets
Short-price punters will be tucking into the 37/50 on offer with MarathonBet for Both Teams to Score in this game. It is a virtual guarantee that Manchester City will find the Chelsea net, but they often give several opportunities to their opponents – and Chelsea can capitalise, which makes this an obvious choice of bet – albeit at short odds.
With the BTTS bet in mind, our main offering for this game is for Manchester City to win the match with both teams scoring in the game. 188Bet offer 11/5 for this punt. Seven of the last nine games that City have won in the Premier League at home have all been by this method – and this game could continue the regular occurrence.
As is often with these previews, we like to offer up a Correct Score bet for a small stakes option to give a nice reward if successful. Our selection for this game is a 3-1 win for Manchester City and 10Bet and Sport Pesa are the places to find the best odds of 25/2.