Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a heavyweight Premier League showdown on Thursday night, Manchester City will make the trip to Stamford Bridge when they meet a struggling Chelsea.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, while Chelsea might have been smelling a real chance on the road last weekend, it was another downbeat display for the former European champions. Eventually having to settle for a 1-1 draw away at relegation scrappers Nottingham Forest, the Blues now find themselves in an uphill battle if they’re to secure in top-four finish in 2023. While Graham Potter’s side might have marked their return from the World Cup break with a 2-0 victory at home against Bournemouth, that is the only Premier League win that Chelsea have claimed from their last seven attempts – a run that stems all the way back to October 16th. With it looking like there is some growing pressure on the former Brighton boss, there is no doubt that Potter’s struggling squad will know that they face a huge challenge at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

Team News

Dealing with what has been a mounting injury list in west London, Chelsea will once again be without the likes of Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Wesley Fofana and Armando Broja on Thursday night.

Likewise, still dealing with a shoulder issue, Senegal shot-stopper Edouard Mendy is not likely to feature here. However, there is some hope that Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be able to play some part at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, throwing away the lead at home against relegation contenders Everton last weekend as they eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw on home soil, Manchester City will be seeking an immediate response here. Opening up the midweek fixtures sat seven points adrift of Arsenal and knowing that they can not afford many more slip-ups, Pep Guardiola’s side will be desperate to lay down a marker on Thursday night. With just a single Premier League defeat to their name since back on October 16th, the former Barcelona boss should be excited by his side’s eye-catching record against Chelsea. Including a 2-0 victory when they welcomed the top-four hopefuls to the Etihad for an EFL Cup meeting back in November, it should be noted that City have won each of their previous three meetings against the Blues by an aggregate score of 4-0.

Team News

Manchester City look set to once again be without the defensive duo of Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias on Thursday night. However, Guardiola’s side has an overall clean bill of health when they make the trip to west London.

Once again having to settle for a spot on the bench against Everton last week, England international Phil Foden will be hoping for a full recall here.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off on November 9th for an EFL Cup showdown, Manchester City claimed a 2-0 victory at the Etihad.
    • Likewise, the defending Premier League champions have won each of their last three meetings against Chelsea by an aggregate score of 4-0.
    • Thursday’s hosts have picked up just a single Premier League win from any of their last seven attempts – a run that stems all the way back to October 16th.
    • Including another strike against Everton last weekend, Erling Haaland has already notched 21 Premier League goals this season.
    • Chelsea have recorded just a sole clean sheet across any competition since the middle of October.

    Conclusion

    While Manchester City might have been frustrated after settling for a 1-1 draw at home against Everton last weekend, Guardiola’s side will be looking to lay down a real marker here. Desperate to make up some ground in the title charge, the defending champions will be hoping to cash in on a Chelsea squad who are enduring a rather public struggle. Claiming just a single Premier League win from any of their last seven top-flight showdowns, Thursday’s hosts should also be concerned by a downbeat record against the English heavyweights. Suffering a 2-0 loss when they made the trip to Manchester for an EFL Cup showdown on November 9th, it should be noted that Chelsea have lost each of their previous three meetings against City.

    Verdict: Manchester City win

    Best Odds: 7/10

    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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