Last year’s title rivals are nowhere near the Premier League summit at the moment, and while don’t have much to play for at the moment, Manchester City need to try and win this game in an attempt to secure a top 4 berth and possibly leapfrog Arsenal in the race for the third place in the standings.
Now that it’s clear that Antonio Conte will take over the reigns at Stamford Bridge, Guus Hiddink can only try and prepare the current squad in the best possible way for next season, and it would appear the Blues are already looking towards the next campaign. Arguably the world’s best interim manager has already started fielding talented youngsters such as Kennedy, Miazga, Traore and Loftus-Cheek, and some of them could have a role to play in Antonio Conte’s squad. As expected, the results have been far from impressive of late, with the Blues losing three of last five fixtures in all competitions, while only defeating out-of-sorts Aston Villa during that period. It would appear as though most senior players are either thinking about summer holidays or making sure they don’t pick up any injuries in the build-up to Euro 2016 and 2016 Copa America Centenario, meaning Chelsea cannot be trusted to finish the league campaign in style. With so many first team regulars missing through injury, the Blues will have to work hard of they want to avoid defeat to in-form Manchester City.
Diego Costa returns to the side after serving a suspension, Willian and Nemanja Matic are both struggling for fitness and are unlikely to start.
At the same time, the likes of John Terry, Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill, Loic Remy and Kurt Zouma continue to miss out.
Manchester City are another high-profile side that have already announced the name of the new manager, with many expecting the appointment of Pep Guardiola to seriously raise the club’s profile. But, before the Catalan coach takes over, current manager Manuel Pellegrini might just make this his most successful season at Etihad Stadium, even though things were not looking too promising just a couple of months back. Despite leading his side to the Capital One Cup trophy, the Chilean was heavily criticised for the failure to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title, and nobody really expected Man City to go far in the Champions League. However, the Citizens not only secured their first appearance in the quarter-finals, but went one step further as they prevailed over star-studded PSG side, and are now awaiting the semi-final draw with huge anticipation. At the same time, Manchester City have stabilised their Premier League form, defeating AFC Bournemouth and West Bromwich to cement the fourth place in the standings, but they will have to beat Chelsea as well if they want to secure automatic Champions League qualification.
Fabian Delph has proved his fitness after recovering from injury and he could start, while Yaya Toure might be recalled to the starting line-up.
Raheem Sterling is expected to be back in contention from a groin problem, meaning Manuel Pellegrini could have fully fit squad to select from.
Key Factors to Consider
- Both teams scored in three of last four meetings between the two sides
- Man City scored on last six visits to Stamford Bridge
- Chelsea are without a number of first team regulars
- Man City finally at full strength
- Chelsea recorded 5-1 win over second-string Man City in February
Chelsea are not only missing quite a few important players, but they appear to be lacking motivation as well, and that is something revived Manchester City will be looking to exploit. Buoyed by the Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain, the Citizens seem they can get revenge for the FA Cup loss at Stamford Bridge.
Verdict: Man City Draw no bet
Best Odds: 19/20
Bookmaker: William Hill
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