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Battle of the Blues at the Etihad

Last updated: November 20, 2019 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 17:30
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: LWWWL
Away Form: WWWWW
Last Meeting: Chelsea 0 – 0 Man City
Competition: EPL

Omens for a goal-fest look good for Saturday’s heavyweight clash in Manchester. Manchester City has the most home goals (19) while Chelsea has the most away goals (18), a slugging match surely?

Manchester City could have been just three points behind Liverpool; instead, they are nine and sit fourth in the table one spot behind their opponents. Chelsea have had a significant start to the league under their manager Frank Lampard, who will be eyeing a seventh consecutive Premier League win while the hosts will be looking to bounce back from the 3 – 1 defeat at Anfield.

Man City would expect a reaction from the side after their Anfield disaster that was dominated by VAR controversies, that they feel went unfairly against them. The biggest disappointment is that they could have reduced the deficit to 3 points but are now nine adrift. Pep Guardiola is one the best managers in the world, seems to be losing his influence in the game by overthinking and lack of consistency in the side. The side has no recognised starting eleven with the frequent alterations that keep the players fresh but also affects the cohesion and understanding of each other on the pitch.

Bernado Silva for example, after scoring his first hat-trick in the 8 – 0 thumping of Watford, was on the bench in the next match and a fit De Byrne had to come off the bench in the 3 – 2 defeat against Norwich. The uncertainty and inconsistency of such decisions are usually overlooked when things are going right but lately; the Citizens have been scrappy, not looking like the side that won back to back Premier League titles. The team lost just four in the 38 games last season and have already lost thrice in a run of only twelve games.

The defending champions will need to get back to their best form to keep up with Jurgen Klopp’s side who seem to be doing everything right at the moment. Aguero is the man to watch with the 10 PL goals against Chelsea; no other player has scored more. The Argentine scored a hat trick in their 6 – 0 win against Chelsea while playing Sarri ball last time they played in the league to make it eight goals in his six matches against them.

Frank Lampard side are third at the table with six consecutive wins coming to this match. Is Frankie a great coach? Or is this just the ‘honeymoon’ period of a new style of management similar to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 12 game unbeaten run or Unai Emery’s 22-match unbeaten run early in his Premier League debut season? The Blues haven’t been particularly great against the big teams, losing twice against Manchester United and at home against Liverpool, and now they head to the Etihad as a real litmus test to see if they can match up against the big boys.

The pragmatism of playing good football and getting results consistently has been the drive of building the young players that received their chances due to the transfer ban. They have the best blend of talented academy graduates, complemented by the experienced senior players with competition for starting positions improving the output of the players. Recce James at just 19 benched Azpilicueta and frustrated Zaha in their 2 – 0 win against Crystal Palace. Tammy Abraham has the best away goal-scoring record with seven, that is equal to or better than 15 of the other 19 teams in the PL. Pulisic is coming to this match with five goals in the last three games and could become the first American to score in four consecutive matches.

Manchester City don’t look as fierce as the side that has won back to back Premier League titles, and Chelsea would surely be thinking that they stand a chance against the defending champions. Two evenly matched teams with great attacking intent in what promises to be a classic encounter for the neutrals to enjoy.


Team News

Man City have already lost three games so far this season they only lost three games in the entirety of last season.

Aguero has scored nine goals in the last six matches against the Blues including a hat-trick in the 6 – 0 defeat the last time the two sides met in the league.

Frank Lampard will be aiming to get a 7th consecutive Premier League win for his side that sit one spot above the defending Champions.

Abraham has scored seven away PL goals, that’s equal or more than 15 of the other 19 teams in the league.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Manchester City (4-3-3): Bravo, Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Angelino, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Byrne, Sterling, B.Silva, Aguero
Subs: Carson, G. Jesus, Mahrez, D.Silva, Cancelo, Foden, Otamendi, Mendy
Injured: Laporte, Sane, Zinchenko, Ederson
Doubtful:
Not available:
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Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Arrizabalaga, Reece, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson, Jorginho, Kante, Mount, Willian, Pulisic, Abraham
Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Giroud, Azpilicueta, M.Alonso, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi
Injured: Loftus-Cheek, Barkley, Rudiger, Van Ginkel
Doubtful:
Not available:

So Far This Season

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Man City This Season Chelsea This Season
4th League Position 3rd
8 (4) Wins (away) 8 (5)
8 – 0 v Watford Biggest Win 5 – 2 v Wolves
1 (0) Draws (away) 2 (0)
1 – 3 v Liverpool Biggest Defeat 0 – 4 v Man United
Aguero (9) Top Goal Scorer Abraham (10)
Y24, R1 Discipline Y23, R0
1 Failures to Score 1
41.7% Clean Sheets 16.7%
50% Both Teams to Score Games 66.7%
83.3% Over 2.5 Goals 66.7%
16.7% Under 2.5 Goals 33.3%
  • Manchester City and Chelsea have faced off 44 times, Chelsea has been the dominant side with 25 wins against City’s 12 with just seven draws between the two sides.
  • On the pitch will be two serious contenders for top scorers Aguero (9) and Abraham (10) while De Bruyne leads the assists chart with nine, well ahead of the next in line who only has four.
  • The best goal scorers at home against the best goal scorers away going head to head in their most productive avenues for both sides prove to be a high scoring match.
  • City average 2.92 goals per match against Chelsea’s 2.25 with both sides failing to score in just a single game out of the twelve they have played.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
24/02/2019 League Cup Chelsea 0 – 0 Man City
10/02/2019 EPL Man City 6 – 0 Chelsea Sterling 4′
08/12/2018 EPL Chelsea 2 – 0 Man City Kante 45’
05/08/2018 FA Cup Chelsea 0 – 2 Man City Aguero 13’
04/03/2018 EPL Man City 1 – 0 Chelsea B.Silva 46’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

This game is a tough one to call. City need a statement win to put the disappointment at Anfield behind them. Last year, you would have backed them to do so, this year, not so much. They have lost a degree of control about them and rivals are smelling blood. Chelsea are also tricky to judge, Lampard could hardly have done any better and few expected his young team to be sitting in 3rd at this stage, however, they don’t like playing the big teams. A score draw or a narrow City win is our prediction.

Betting wise, two or more goal scorer markets are what we will be concentrating on. After frustrations against Liverpool, Aguero is available @13/5 to score two (10/1 for three or more). Sterling is available @ 4/1 with Chelsea’s Pulisic priced at 33/1. Prices available at bet365.