Champions League Hopefuls Face Tough City Challenge

Last updated: June 23, 2020 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Thursday, 20:15
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Coverage: Sky Sports
Home Form: LWDWW
Away Form: LWWLW
Last Meeting: Man City 2 – 1 Chelsea
Competition: EPL

It will be an all-blue affair in London as the two big clubs with spendthrift owners face of in yet another top-six clash. Chelsea won’t be able to feature their new acquisitions but have a good squad that can challenge the defending champions. The hosts need this win more than their opponents for Champions League qualification, as City can only hope to delay Liverpool’s celebration as Premier League winners.

Chelsea has signed Timo Werner from RB Leipzig for €53m and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech for €37m and is strongly linked with Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Bayern Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz. Their intentions are clear to see and can be considered brave and bold, especially as Chelsea are the first major English club to spend big during the coronavirus outbreak.

While some may question the timing of spending big, you have to admire the great communication links between owner Abramovich, director Marina Granovskaia, technical and performance advisor Petr Cech, and the manager, Frank Lampard, to get these deals over the line while other teams play a waiting game.

Werner, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions this season, is a world-class goal scorer with 76 goals in 116 starts. He clearly looks like a 20 goals a season kind of striker, something Chelsea need to be considered true contenders next season.

The Blues have outdone themselves so far this season. Many pundits were viewing them as outsiders at the start of the season due to the transfer ban and departure of their best player, Eden Hazard. Frank Lampard was a rookie manager with his potential to oversee a Premier League side unproven. They have been in the top four since the 1 – 0 win over Newcastle in October and look favourites in the race for fourth. The third spot is also attainable, Chelsea sits just three points behind Leicester, albeit with a much inferior goal difference.

Lampard’s backline has been inspirational with Andreas Christensen 94% pass completion the highest than any other player on the pitch. The 24-year-old won six aerial battles in their recent 2 – 1 win at Villa Park. A solid performance in coming from behind to win 2 – 1 at Villa Park. This was just the second time they have come from behind to win, the last time being at Arsenal. Previously, they had lost in the other eight times they have conceded first.

Christian Pulisic played an important cameo with a huge contribution just five minutes in his return, scoring the equaliser and with Oliver Giroud grabbing the winner it provided three very important points for Chelsea. The arrival of Captain America back from a nasty muscle injury is a boost; he hadn’t kicked a ball since New Year’s Day.

Manchester City’s Phil Foden gave a man-of-the-match performance in Monday night’s 5 – 0 victory against Burnley. Such was the impact of the 20-year-old that manager Pep Guardiola tipped Foden to be a replacement for David Silva in the summer. Foden opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, Mahrez scored a brace in the final minutes of half time. In the second half, David Silva scored the fourth goal six minutes after the break and Foden completed the five-goal rout in the 63rd minute.

The huge scoreline was tainted at half time when the club’s record goalscorer Sergio Agüero limped off. Agüero was forced off near half-time of the victory at the Etihad Stadium, being replaced by Gabriel Jesus. The 32-year-old is thought to have avoided ligament damage, meaning the club is hopeful he will play again this season. A potential return date could be the last-16 second leg against Real Madrid in the Champions League. City holds a slender 2-1 lead in that tie, and it should be played on 7 or 8 August.

Team News

Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are the new Chelsea acquisitions and first signings for manager Frank Lampard.

Chelsea has been in the top 4 since October, but their Champions League qualification is not yet assured with eight games to be played.

Liverpool is twenty points ahead of Man City and if they both win their weekend matches; the Reds will only need a draw at the Etihad to be officially Premier League Champions for the first time in 30 years.

City made eight changes in their squad including benching Sterling and De Bruyne over the weekend highlighting the squad depth and freshness of the team heading to the Stamford Bridge.

Expected Line-Ups:

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Arrizabalaga, Azpiliqueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Christensen, Alonso, Kovacic, Kante, Mount, William, Giroud
Subs: Caballero, Barkley, Christensen, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic, Van Ginkel, Emerson, Gilmour, Abraham
Injured: Tomori
Doubtful: Hudson-Odoi
Not available:
Man City (4-2-3-1): Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Mendy, Rodri, Guendogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, B. Silva, Jesus
Subs: Carson, Laporte, Cancelo, Foden, Sterling, Zinchenko, Sane
Injured: Aguero, Bravo, Stones
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Chelsea This Season Manchester City This Season
4th League Position 2nd
15 (8) Wins (away) 19 (9)
4 – 0 v Everton Biggest Win 8 – 0 v Watford
6 (4) Draws (away) 3 (1)
0 – 4 v Man United Biggest Defeat 1 – 3 v Liverpool
Abraham (13) Top Goal Scorer Aguero (16)
Y54, R0 Discipline Y52, R3
6 Failures to Score 2
20% Clean Sheets 37%
60% Both Teams to Score Games 50%
63% Over 2.5 Goals 70%
37% Under 2.5 Goals 30%
  • The two sides have squared off 45 times; the London outfit has a slender lead of 22 wins against City’s 18 wins with five draws between the two.
  • Sergio Aguero’s tally of 16 goals is better anyone in the pitch followed closely by Tammy with 13 goals. Aguero is injured and Tammy Abraham likely to be used sparingly if at all.
  • Chelsea has won just once in the last five games with Man City, a 2-0 home win in December 2018 the last time they tasted success.
  • The Blues have an average of 1.87 chances created per match compared to the City’s 2.86 opportunities and an average of 1.77 goals per game compared to City’s 2.45 goals per match.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
23/11/2019 EPL Man City 2 – 1 Chelsea De Bruyne 29′
10/02/2019 EPL Man City 6 – 0 Chelsea Sterling 4′
08/12/2018 EPL Chelsea 2 – 0 Man City Kante 45’
04/03/2018 EPL Man City 1 – 0 Chelsea B.Silva 46’
30/09/2017 EPL Chelsea 0 – 1 Man City De Bruyne 67′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

The games are coming thick and fast, and squad rotation is likely to be a key factor over the next couple of weeks. Both teams are no strangers to changing their line-ups, but you feel City’s reserve troops are of a higher quality than Chelsea’s.

More often than not, games involving these teams produce a lot of goals, but not when the two sides meet. Chelsea has seen under 2.5 goals in their last four home matches against City. And City has also not been so free-scoring on the road. There have been under 2.5 goals in City’s last four away games.

It is, for this reason, we are going for a 0-2 win for the visitors. It will be a professional performance by City, rather than a classic at Stamford Bridge. You can get 17/2 @ 888sport for this scoreline. 1-2 is also a good shout, available @ 7/1, also at 888sport.