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Will it be back-to-back defeats to rivals for Chelsea?

Last updated: March 2, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Sunday, 16:00
Venue: The Etihad
Coverage: Sky Sports 1
Home Team Form: LWWDW
Away Team Form: WLLWL
Last Meeting: Chelsea 0 – 1 Man City
Competition: Premier League

Sunday’s clash between Manchester City and Chelsea is without doubt the most anticipated match of the weekend. Both teams have tough schedules of late, but it’s Chelsea who are struggling. Last week’s defeat to Manchester United sees the Blues outside of the top four and defeat here would be their fourth in five games in the league. City on the other hand have, perhaps unsurprisingly, fared better. But their tough run has only really just started. Having faced Arsenal on Thursday night, they’ll play Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs within the next six weeks.

After effortlessly overcoming Arsenal in the Caraboa Cup final last weekend, City then repeated the task with equal ease on Thursday night, sweeping Arsenal aside with another 3-0 victory. It wasn’t necessary perfect from City, but the goals were all majestic in their own right, with flashes of brilliance from David Silva, Sergio Agüero, and Leroy Sané. There were concerns that the absence of Fernandinho could expose the City defence. That was not the case, though that was perhaps more down to Arsenal’s impotence in attack than midfield solidity. Nevertheless, Ilkay Gündogan is a more than able deputy and performed well and should repeat that role here. Chelsea should pose more problems, but City, as they’ve done all season, will likely find a way to deal with them.

Antonio Conte has admitted that a finish outside the top four – and consequently missing out on a Champions League spot for next season – is looking a distinct possibility for Chelsea. Three defeats in four league games has put the Blues in a tricky spot, with the teams above them challenging for those three remaining Champions League in much better form. What a statement a win here would be then. While City all but have the title wrapped up, Chelsea must battle on and those three teams above them all have winnable fixtures this week. Hazard and William are in fine form and should start, while Alvaro Morata, though back fit and in the team, must improve sharpish. Chelsea were rolled over away from home against Manchester United last weekend and it’s hard to see that not happening again.


Team News

Fernandinho has been ruled out of this one for the hosts after being forced off against Arsenal with an injury.

Raheem Sterling seems to have recovered from a hamstring injury, but it’s unclear whether he will start, as Pep may want to reintroduce the Englishman slowly.

Bakayoko may recover from a knock in time to be available for selection for this one.

David Luiz and Ross Barkley remain the only other absentees for Chelsea, after Álvaro Morata returned to the side last week.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Man City (4-3-3): Ederson, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo, Bernardo Silva, Gündogan, De Bruyne, D Silva, Sané, Agüero
Subs: Bravo, Kompany, Laporte, Jesus, Zinchenko, Foden, Yaya Touré
Injured: Mendy, Fernandinho, Delph
Doubtful: Sterling
Not available:
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Chelsea (4-3-3): Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rüdiger, Moses, Fàbregas, Kanté, Alonso, Morata, E Hazard, Willian
Subs: Caballero, Drinkwater, Pedro, Giroud, Cahill, Emerson, Zappacosta
Injured: Luiz, Barkley
Doubtful: Bakayoko
Not available:

So Far This Season

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Manchester City So Far This Season Chelsea So Far This Season
1st League Position 5th
13 (10) Wins (away) 9 (7)
7 – 2 vs. Stoke Biggest Win 5 – 0 vs. Stoke
1 (2) Draws (away) 2 (3)
3 – 4 vs Liverpool Biggest Defeat 1 – 4 vs Watford
Sergio Agüero (21) Top Goal Scorer Eden Hazard (11)
Y43, R2 Discipline Y32, R4
1 Failures to Score 6
12 Clean Sheets 14
50% Both Teams to Score Games 39%
71% Over 2.5 Goals 57%
29% Under 2.5 Goals 43%
  • City just edged past Chelsea by a single goal when the teams last met back in September. That loss caused Chelsea to stutter, losing the following match against Palace.
  • Chelsea’s defeat against Manchester United means they have lost three of the last four league matches, conceding at least two goals in each of those defeats.
  • City are having no problems scoring lately. Not including the match against Burnley, they’ve scored at least three goals in each of the last five matches.
  • Chelsea can count themselves lucky their Champions League match doesn’t follow this one. Unlike City, who are almost sure of passage to the next round, Chelsea will have to avoid defeat to Barcelona in two weeks time.

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
05/11/2017 Chelsea 0 – 1 Man City Premier League De Bruyne 67′
05/04/2017 Chelsea 2 – 1 Man City Premier League Hazard 10′
03/12/2016 Man City 1 – 3 Chelsea Premier League Cahill OG 45′
16/04/2016 Chelsea 0 – 3 Man City Premier League Agüero 33′
21/02/2016 Chelsea 5 – 1 Man City FA Cup Costa 35′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Chelsea should provide a sterner opposition for City than Arsenal have over the last week, but City will still be big favourites. Having watched Chelsea roll over and surrender a lead away at Manchester United last week, it’s difficult to see them coming up with the spine to prevent that happening again.

Nevertheless, it should be tight, but with all of City’s attacking talent coming up with moments of brilliance lately, you’d expect them to break through the Chelsea rearguard eventually. While a City win is in order, Chelsea will keep it tight, and for that reason we’re going with a Manchester City win plus under 3.5 goals, which you can get for a decent price at Coral.