Premier League leaders Chelsea travel to the Etihad Stadium to face fellow title-chasers Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, in a game that could settle which side ends the weekend top of the pile.
Manchester City are unbeaten at home in the league this season but Chelsea boast three consecutive away wins and have won their last seven in the division overall. Could the visitors come out on top?
Chelsea’s counter-attacking style could punish Manchester City’s expansive shape
Manchester City have one notable weakness that has been exploited in many games this season – the Sky Blues have been vulnerable to the counter attack due to how many players they have in advanced areas on the pitch and how high up their defensive line is. Chelsea have enjoyed success with a counter-attacking style under new manager Antonio Conte and it may be perfect to get a result against City.
With Pedro and Eden Hazard providing the pace on the break, Chelsea have a real threat in attack when they can get a turnover in possession against Manchester City. Pep Guardiola is a man who stubbornly sticks to his philosophy on football and won’t change his approach despite Chelsea’s danger-men. As a result, Manchester City will remain open and expansive in their playing style, leaving themselves wide open for Chelsea’s runners to exploit.
Defensive records could hint towards the potential outcome
Manchester City have kept just one clean sheet in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium this season, and have struggled for goals at home at the other end. The Sky Blues have scored just three goals in as many games in their own backyard, and face a Chelsea side boasting the joint-best defensive record in the division.
As a result, the visitors might have some joy against City, and they will also fancy their chances of breaching the Citizens’ backline, having scored three or more goals in three of their last six in the top-flight. During Chelsea’s seven-game win streak, they have beaten defending champions Leicester City, Manchester United and last-season’s runners-up Tottenham Hotspur, and will be full of confidence against their title rivals.
Boasting three wins from their last three away from home without conceding a single goal, Chelsea are fancied by many to make a big statement of intent this weekend. Chelsea are 23/10 to win against Manchester City on Saturday as a result. Can Antonio Conte get one over Pep Guardiola?