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European Champions v Premier League Champions

Last updated: September 22, 2021 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Saturday, 12:30
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Coverage: BT Sport
Home Form: WWDWW
Away Form: LWWWD
Last Meeting: Man City 0 – 1 Chelsea
Competition: Premier League

Two potential title contenders, Chelsea and Manchester City, face off in a fierce battle at Stamford Bridge. The Blues had the edge in the Champions League final the last time the two met. Therefore, the reigning League Champions will be out for revenge against the European Champions. With strong defences and star-studded attacks, this game has all the ingredients to be a classic match.

Chelsea is resolute, solid, persistent and aggressive, all the attributes for a title-winning side. The reigning European Champions have enjoyed almost a clean sweep in the Premier League, dropping points only against Liverpool, after finishing that match with ten men. The Blue’s defence has conceded just one goal this season: a penalty kick in their 1 – 1 draw against Liverpool.

Therefore it’s no surprise that Thomas Tuchel has stuck to his Champions League-winning strategy that teams are yet to figure out a tactic to crack with five defenders and two defensive midfielders. The German dug deeper defensively in their recent game, bringing off Kai Havertz for Ngolo Kante to make it eight defensive players. The French international venturing forward was a bold strategy by Tuchel that earned the team a deserving three-nil win against Tottenham as a number ten.

Over the years, Kante has been Chelsea’s best player giving exceptional performance and the most iconic performance last season was in the Champions League final against their weekend visitors. The Blues have improved their squad since the European final, and it could be argued that the London team have a stronger squad than Manchester City. Regarding form and strength, Tuchel’s team are favourites, a statement that is rarely uttered about Manchester City, who have dominated the English league, winning three of the last four titles.

Romelu Lukaku has netted three goals in four games, is a revolutionary signing just four goals from surpassing the team’s top scorer last season. The Belgian sparks up the attack going forward, holding up play well, making everyone around him play better. We saw Tuchel trying to build a partnership with Timo Werner similar to what he had at Inter Milan alongside Lautaro Martinez. Marcus Alonso is a huge goal threat from direct free kicks. Furthermore, they have scored two direct corner kicks, including one against Spurs, last weekend. The Blues have scored at least two goals in the last three home games. They have ten different goal scorers this season, with Matteo Kovacic, three assists, and Recce James, their best providers.

Every game in which Manchester City will fail to score in, the question of whether they needed to get the deal to get the signature of Harry Kane over the line will pop up. Pep Guardiola plays Gabriel Jesus, his only outright striker as a right-winger, leaving Riyad Mahrez on the bench. However, the reigning champions didn’t record a shot on target till the ninetieth minute, settling for a goalless draw against a determined Southampton. The 0-0 is City’s first draw in thirty-one (twenty-five wins and five losses).

The Citizen face Chelsea, a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain that includes Lionel Messi, and Liverpool and all these games will be on the road. They have the depth; it’s the fight that would worry the ever dynamic Guardiola; the lack of consistency could be taking a toll on the team as the manager shuffles the players and their positions radically. Pep had marshalled fans to storm the stadium, but their vociferous roar could not galvanise their side, and a last-minute goal was ruled out for offside. However, they benefited from technology intervention earlier after a penalty, and a red card on Kyle Walker were overturned by the video assistant.

Gabriel Jesus has been impressive from the right-wing, scoring one goal and assisting three. The team, however, requires a physical presence at the centre to hold up play and poach for crosses into the box, especially against teams that defend deep like Chelsea. Ferran Torres is the team’s top goalscorer with two goals and one assist, with all his league goal involvements coming in their win against Arsenal. The 21-year-old was also on the scoresheet in midweek, scoring in City’s routine 6-1 demolition of third-tier Wycombe Wanderers in the Carabao Cup. Kevin De Bruyne is back to the side as a player that can marshal the team to victory, giving them a realistic chance to break the solid Chelsea defence. However, the 30-year-old has suffered from injuries and has managed just 36 minutes on the pitch this campaign and is yet to have a goal involvement.

Manchester City looked lethargic but have a reputation for being slow starters, with the fixture schedule favouring their normal course. Nevertheless, they have a busy week at Stamford Bridge, their third battle against the ‘big six’ after losing against Tottenham and thumping Arsenal. The trip to London will be their fiercest encounter of the season so far, and we expect them to match the fight against one of the potential title contenders.


Team News

Chelsea has no new injury worries, and Christian Pulisic and Edouard Mendy could return to the squad.

The Blues top the Premier League table and are yet to concede a goal from open play.

Man City have a serious injury scare; Gundogan picked up an injury against Southampton. In addition, Rodri, Laporte, and Zinchenko have to be assessed.

The Citizens scored seventeen goals in the last five games despite failing to score in the previous game.


Expected Line-Ups:

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Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Arrizabalaga, Rudiger, Thiago, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Lukaku
Subs: Bettinelli, Hudson-Odoi, Chalobah, Kovacic, Zouma, Chilwell, Ziyech
Injured:
Doubtful: Pulisic, Mendy
Not available:
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Man City (3-2-4-1): Ederson, Walker, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, B. Silva, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus
Subs: Steffen, Garcia, Torres, Foden, Carson, Palmer, Lavia
Injured: Laporte, Stones, Zinchenko
Doubtful: Rodri, Gundogan
Not available:

So Far This Season

. . .
Chelsea This Season City This Season
1st League Position 5th
4 (2) Wins (away) 3 (1)
3 – 0 v Crystal Palace Biggest Win 5 – 0 v Arsenal
1 (1) Draws (away) 1 (0)
Biggest Defeat 0 – 1 v Spurs
Lukaku (3) Top Goal Scorer Torres (2)
Y4, R1 Discipline Y5, R0
0 Failures to Score 2
80% Clean Sheets 80%
20% Both Teams to Score Games 0%
60% Over 2.5 Goals 40%
40% Under 2.5 Goals 60%
  • The two sides have met 48 times; Chelsea has been the dominant side, with twenty-seven wins against Manchester City’s fourteen wins and seven draws between them.
  • Chelsea scores an average of three goals per game at home (2.4) overall; City scores an average of 0.5 goals away, much lower than their 2.20 average overall.
  • Lukaku has had an explosive start to the league with three goals in four games, while Torres could start with his two goals, the best tally for the Manchester outfit.
  • The Blues have ten different scorers for their twelve goals this season, while Man City has nine different scorers, showing how talented the sides are, and the goals can come from anywhere anytime.

Head to Head

Last 5 meetings between the two sides
Date Competition Game Result First Goal-scorer
29/05/2021 CL Final Man City 0 – 1 Chelsea Havertz 42’
08/05/2021 EPL Man City 1 – 2 Chelsea Sterling 44’
17/04/2021 FA Cup Chelsea 1 – 0 Man City Ziyech 55’
03/01/2021 EPL Chelsea 1 – 3 Man City Gundogan 18’
25/06/2020 EPL Chelsea 2 – 1 Man City B.Silva 17’

Conclusion & Betting Tips

Chelsea are enjoying a purple patch against City, losing just once in the last five meetings. This form, along with City dropping points in their last game, means they have now replaced City as many bookmaker’s favourites to lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the campaign. In addition, Romelu Lukaku’s purchase has taken the pressure off Timo Werner, which in itself could pay dividends.

Manchester City having a stop/start is not a total surprise. Last year they were also slow starters yet claimed the title with a healthy twelve point lead, including taking their foot off the pedal with two losses in the last five. However, the competition is much stiffer this campaign, with many rivals adding quality to their squads.

We can’t see Chelsea losing this one, and we’d be tempted with a straight win forecast available on Chelsea @ 13/8 with bet365. As the operator pays out if a team goes two goals ahead, we suspect you could be paid out early—Romelu Lukaku to score at any time @ 13/10 also appeals.