Monday, January 18, 2021

Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a real heavyweight showdown on Sunday afternoon, a struggling Chelsea will welcome Manchester City to an empty Stamford Bridge this weekend.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, while Chelsea might have enjoyed what was a hugely impressive run of form throughout November and at the start of December, the Blues are a side desperately seeking a New Year’s bounce. Despite breaking the bank over the summer and bringing in a host of new faces, it appears that there are signs of pressure on Frank Lampard’s shoulders. Despite managing to book their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League in routine fashion last month, the former England skipper saw his side put in another lackluster display earlier in the week. Throwing away the lead and having to settle for a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in West London, the former Premier League champions have now managed to win just one of their last five top-flight contests. While Olivier Giroud might have managed to once again find the net in midweek, Chelsea have shown some recent issues in the final third. Despite picking up what was a flattering 3-0 win against West Ham last month, Sunday’s hosts have failed to bag more than a single strike in five of their last six matchups across all formats.

Team News

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech could make his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in early December against Leeds at Stamford Bridge.

Defender Reece James will definitely miss the game because of a similar problem.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, after controversially being given extra-time off due to a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp earlier in the week, Manchester City should be desperate to make a return to action this weekend. While Pep Guardiola could be unable to call upon a number of his biggest names on Sunday afternoon, the former Bayern Munich boss has seen his side enjoy a recent bounce. Along with picking up a 2-0 victory last time out against Newcastle on Boxing Day, the Sky Blues have won each of their last three straight matchups across all formats. Booking their spot in the semi-final of this year’s EFL Cup after landing a very impressive 4-1 romp away at Arsenal last month, the former Premier League champions will now be desperate to make up some ground at Stamford Bridge. While City might be unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions, winning seven of those appearances, their points tally of 26 is the lowest amount that they have collected after 14 games over the past decade.

Team News

Five Manchester City players are unavailable for their Premier League match at Chelsea on Sunday following positive coronavirus tests.

Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and three unnamed players are in isolation.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City can lose three consecutive Premier League away matches against Chelsea for the first time since a run of four from 2006 to 2009.
  • However, the Sky Blues have won each of their last three straight matchups across all formats.
  • Including a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in midweek, Chelsea have managed to win just one of their last five Premier League contests.
  • Chelsea have failed to score more than a single goal in five of their last six matchups across all competitions.
  • Manchester City have conceded just a single goal in any of their last six Premier League matchups on the bounce.

Conclusion

While Manchester City could be missing some key names on Sunday afternoon, the Sky Blues should be smelling a chance at Stamford Bridge. With Chelsea having to settle for a 1-1 draw at home against Aston Villa in midweek, Frank Lampard’s new-look side have certainly hit a worrying blip when opening the New Year. Managing to win just one of their last five Premier League contests, this weekend’s hosts have since lost their spot in the top-four. Showing some real inconsistencies in front of goal, the Blues should face a stern test in West London. With City winning each of their last three matchups on the spin and unbeaten across all formats since November 21st, we’re backing an away victory at Stamford Bridge.

Verdict: Manchester City win

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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