Fourth take on second as Chelsea host the visitors Manchester City to Stamford Bridge for Thursday night’s main event in the English Premier League. Read on for the big match preview and Chelsea v Manchester City betting tips below.
The visitors make their second journey to London since the restart having already faced Arsenal where the Citizens left with all three points before demolishing Burnley at home. The home side meanwhile got their restarted season underway when coming from behind to beat Aston Villa at Villa Park and will be looking to consolidate their fourth-place status.
Manchester City’s hopes of catching Liverpool are dead in the water after the Reds cruised to victory over Crystal Palace in a match that had been expected to prove tricky for the champions-elect. However, the visitors can cement their runner-up berth with victory and they come into the game in red-hot form.
DEFENSIVE FRAILTIES HAMPERING HOME SIDE
The home side have had troubles defensively which has led to Frank Lampard’s young side losing half of their last twenty home matches including two of their last six. They have a better defensive record at home, losing 18 goals and scoring 33 over that 20 game period but they have failed to close out the likes of Aston Villa and Southampton – neither known for goal-scoring prowess – so it could prove a torrid night for Chelsea’s backline as they look to shut out the potent City attack.
That said, the visitors haven’t been watertight at the back either and have shipped 21 goals away from home although they certainly know how to score on the road with 52 strikes including three against Arsenal on their latest London sojourn where they have racked up 15 wins on the road in their last 20 matches.
CONSISTENCY KEY TO CITY SUCCESS
The visitors have re-emerged from the lockdown in excellent heart, scoring eight goals without reply since the recommencement of the league and it is hard to imagine the free-scoring visitors won’t add to their tally given their consistency in finding the net although prior to the lockdown they had failed to score in their last two away matches.
They’ve returned in blistering form however and the returning Aymeric Laporte will help to shore up any defensive weakness. The visitors’ backline looks much more assured with the Frenchman at the heart of the rearguard which is borne out by City’s results when he plays.
Chelsea’s attack certainly has the power to cause problems also for the visitors, but the Blues’ backline continues to look suspect and has been a huge factor in them failing to mount a serious title challenge this campaign.
GOALS AND CARDS ON THE CARDS
Since the turn of the year into 2020 the visitors have notched up more than two goals per game on average coming into this contest; while the home side have recorded just two shut-outs in eleven games.
Six of Chelsea’s last seven matches has also yielded more than 2.5 goals for both teams combined so goals in this match wouldn’t come as a surprise and it may prove a high-scoring contest between the two Premier League heavyweights.
The game could also be a fiery affair which will play into the cards betting market with big-match referee Stuart Attwell no stranger to brandishing cards with an average of 4.5 per game.
CITY STARS RETURNING SPELLS BAD NEWS FOR CHELSEA
Chelsea can welcome back the suspended Jorginho for this clash, while Christian Pulisic might have done enough in his last match to earn a start. The home side otherwise will be at near full-strength.
City meanwhile rested a number of their stars for the match against Burnley and Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are all likely to feature.
The visitors will be without talismanic Sergio Aguero who was injured in the Burnley clash; but City have significant strength in the attacking area and his absence won’t be too much of a concern.
Chelsea will be no pushover at home, but their inability to keep out the opposition is worrying taking on the visitors’ potent strike-force which already numbers eight goals in just two games since the restart.
The visitors’ rearguard is formidable also but can be breached and Chelsea know how to score at home so there should be goals for both sides. Chelsea did win the last encounter between the two sides at Stamford Bridge but have since lost both games against the visitors – both at the Etihad – where they’ve conceded eight times with only one score.
Overall though the visitors have the upper hand in this fixture and on recent performances should have too much firepower for the home side. I expect them to return to Manchester with the three points intact in a game that should yield goals for both sides and a smattering of cards from the officials.
Bet 1: Manchester City to win, both teams to score YES, over 3 match goals @ +450 (Bet365)
Bet 2: Over 4.5 match cards combined @ + 110 (Bet365)
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