The Premier League returns from last weekend’s international break and its not a moment too soon for followers of English football’s top-flight. 10 games are spread out across Saturday, Sunday and Monday with four given the live TV treatment by BT Sport and Sky Sports.
Top of the bill features what promises to be a thriller at the Etihad Stadium as defending champions Manchester City welcome Londoners Chelsea to town. Starting at 5.30pm on Saturday evening, a sell-out stadium is expected with many more watching around the country.
Bookmakers give us the chance to ramp up our interest in the game with a bet on the outcome. The locals are favourites with all major bookmakers, Betway offering a market best price of 4/9. That’s tight in what’s expected to be a competitive 90 minutes but there’s currently no better available to those eager to support Pep Guardiola’s men. Fancy the upset? Chelsea are 35/4 on the Betfair Exchange to claim a win while the draw will appeal to punters who can’t split them, chalked up as a 21/5 shot, that quote also taken from the Betfair site.
Man City Slip to Fourth
Manchester City started the season as odds on favourites to retain their Premier League title, lifting the trophy for the third year on the bounce. A poor start to the campaign has seen The Cityzens lose three and draw one of their first dozen games and 25 points on the board has them down in fourth place. Last season’s champions have lost two of their last five and are already nine points off the pace set by current leaders Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola took his men to Anfield last time out knowing it was a game they simply had to win if they were to close the gap on Liverpool and keep things interesting heading into the winter months. They failed to get the desired result, however, ending on the wrong side of a 3-1 result which allowed Jurgen Klopp and co to increase their advantage over the chasing pack. Fabinho had the ball in the net inside six minutes and that goal was added to by Salah and Mane, more than enough to see off a fightback led by Bernardo Silva.
Speaking to the waiting press at the end of that match, Guardiola said his team must take defeat on the chin and concentrate on the next match against Chelsea. The gaffer seemed happy with how his men performed at the home of their rivals and was quick to remind fans it is still very early in the season and there’s still a lot of football to be played before a champion is crowned.
Chelsea on a Winning Run
Chelsea suffered a slow start to the season under new manager Frank Lampard, but they have found their feet in recent weeks and travel to the home of the current champions on an incredible run of form. The Blues bring stats of eight wins and two draws against a couple of defeats. They are one place higher in the Premier League pecking order than their hosts with one more point on the board, level with Leicester City who are in second heading into round 13.
This youthful Chelsea side were last seen beating neighbours Crystal Palace on Saturday 9 November by a 2-0 score. Abraham got the first goal at Stamford Bridge that day, putting his employers ahead with 52 minutes on the clock. Pulisic added a second on 79 and that was more than enough to hold The Eagles off. It was an entertaining and hard-fought match, but we got the right winner and Chelsea move forward with confidence in their ranks.
Frank Lampard was a happy man during his post-match press conference, telling those in attendance his boys fully deserved the win but was frustrated by the number of chances missed on the day. 2-0 wasn’t a fair reflection of Chelsea’s dominance and that’s something the coaching staff would have worked on with the players left behind during the international break. Lampard reserved special praise for Tammy Abraham who he thought had the potential to be as good as Harry Kane.
Aguero Scored Five Against Chelsea Last Season
Man City and Chelsea met four times last season, twice in the Premier League, once in the Community Shield and again in the EFL Cup. The head-to-head scores during that time showed two wins for City, one for Chelsea and a draw. When preparing your bets for this match it’s worth noting backing no in the both teams to score market would have returned a winning bet in each of the last six meetings of these clubs. Take no both teams to score at 31/20 – best price at Bet Victor.
Taking a closer look at those results and we find Sergio Aguero scored five goals against Chelsea last season, including a hattrick in a stunning 6-0 win for Man City at the Etihad Stadium back in February. Something similar here would help get their title charge back on course. Another must win match for Man City if they are to pressure Liverpool.
- Man City have fewer points at this stage of the season that in any other campaign when managed by Pep Guardiola.
- Chelsea have won six games in-a-row for the first time since May 2017.
- Manchester City have conceded three goals on two occasions this season.
- Frank Lampard is the first Englishman to win six games on the bounce since Alan Pardew for Newcastle in 2012.
- Chelsea named their youngest ever line-up against Crystal Palace