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Premier League: Chelsea Head to Etihad for Biggest Test Yet


Premier League: Chelsea Head to Etihad for Biggest Test Yet

Manchester City vs Chelsea

Domestic football is back again and we’re heading to England for the clash of the weekend as in-form Chelsea head north to take on a Manchester City side fuelled by frustration.

The Sky Blues start the game in fourth place in the Premier League, a point behind Chelsea, after losing three games already. Pep Guardiola’s side is favourite to win the Champions League, but City fans also expected them to make it three Premier League titles on the bounce. That will be quite a task now as they have drifted nine points behind the leaders.

The latest Premier League 2019 betting odds point away from the Etihad for the first time in three years with Liverpool now odds on favourite, while both Chelsea and Leicester City are odds on for a top-four finish; though Spurs’ new manager may have something to say about that!

Talking Points

Pep’s defensive dilemma

While today’s Premier League 2019 news has been dominated by the return to management of Jose Mourinho at Spurs, his old foe Pep Guardiola has more pressing matters on his mind. Defeat to Liverpool just before the international break dumped City into fourth place and well off the pace. The Sky Blues took the game to Jurgen Klopp’s side but were hit twice on the break. City have dominated all three games they lost, but teams are defending heroically against the champions, which is more than Pep can say for his own rearguard.

The early-season injury to Aymeric Laporte has been the biggest factor in City’s struggle to retain the title, though many a Sky Blue fan will tell you, with some justification, that VAR is as much to blame!

Against Liverpool Pep started with John Stones and Fernandinho as the centre back pairing. He’s also tried another midfielder, Rodri, in there, while Nicolas Otamendi is the other option. But he hasn’t really replaced the retired Vincent Kompany and, City having just posted record revenues of £535m, fans may be wondering why.

Reports suggest City are ready to make a move for one or both of Leicester City’s centre backs Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu. It won’t be easy to persuade Leicester to cooperate but the champions need to do something.

There is good news at the Etihad as Goalkeeper Ederson is back in training after missing the top of the table clash, and he could be in the starting line-up against Chelsea.

Frank’s perfect blend

Chelsea’s coach Frank Lampard has had no such defensive problem, certainly in recent weeks, and pretty much since an opening day 4-0 defeat to Manchester United. Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori have built a partnership that has quickly erased the memory of Harry Maguire heading to Manchester United.

Lampard’s men made it six straight league wins with a 2-0 triumph over Crystal Palace and the boss has been praised for giving youth a chance, though he didn’t have much choice, arriving in the midst of a transfer embargo. But his young guns have performed superbly, with the comfort of top quality experience alongside them, in the likes of     Cesar Azpilicueta and N’Golo Kante.

Mason Mount scored his first international goal in England’s 0-4 win in Kosovo and he has already bagged four in the league, while summer signing Christian Pulisic has hit a hot streak of form with five league goals, three coming in a hat-trick at Burnley.

Tammy vs Sergio

Young striker Tammy Abraham has been as impressive as any though, and he has ten league goals already. Only Leicester’s Jamie Vardy has more, while City’s Sergio Aguero is one behind on nine.

Who will win the shootout on Saturday? My money’s on Sergio.

History

In the last 50 games between these two sides, Chelsea have the edge. The Sky Blues have won 18 to Chelsea’s 25 and there have been seven draws.

But City won this fixture 6-0 in February, Aguero scoring a record 11th Premier League hat-trick.

Sure thing, Chelsea are in fine form but City have won the last four at home, and this is Frank’s biggest test so far.

Betting Tip

Manchester City Asian Handicap -1.25 @ 1.93

The latest odds here at SBOBET have Manchester City at 1.43 and the draw at 4.50 with Chelsea out there at 6.60.

Manchester City can’t afford to slip any further behind Liverpool and, in my opinion, they have the best front six in football. I think they’ll win this one, but I also think Chelsea can puncture City’s defence.

Four to six goals at 2.32 looks a decent alternative. And I can see a 3-1 home win at 9.25 as a long shot.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 

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