Thursday, January 27, 2022

Prediction: Manchester City vs Chelsea

Verdict: Manchester City win & under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 6/4

Bookmaker: Unibet

In what is a real heavyweight battle at the top of the Premier League table, Manchester City will welcome Chelsea to the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, managing to extend on their FA Cup adventure with a routine 4-1 win away at League One outfit Swindon last weekend, the mood in Manchester City’s camp should be at a real high. Somehow finding a way to come past a high-flying Arsenal side on New Year’s Day as they snatched a last-gasp 2-1 win in north London, Pep Guardiola’s men will be looking to lay down another marker here. Continuing on what has been a stellar run of form, the defending champions find themselves holding a commanding 10-point buffer over Saturday’s guests. Now tipped as a landslide pick to reclaim their Premier League crown this season, the former Barcelona boss has also seen his side win each of their previous seven matchups across all formats. Quickly gaining a reputation for their free-scoring displays, City have also remarkably won 14 of their last 15 outings, a run that stems all the way back to October 30th.

Team News

Dealing with a reported COVID-19 outbreak in their camp, it remains to be seen if Phil Foden or Oleksandr Zinchenko will feature on Saturday lunchtime.

While the Sky Blues might be hoping that John Stones can return from a knock, Riyad Mahrez will miss out as he is away with Algeria at this year’s AFCON.

Chelsea

As for the visitors, while Chelsea might have shown some signs of a worry last month, the Blues appear to have put those minor issues behind them. Putting in another routine display in midweek as they secured a 1-0 win away at London rivals Tottenham, the Blues also managed to book their third final under Head Coach Thomas Tuchel. Eventually claiming a deserved 3-0 aggregate victory against Spurs in the EFL Cup, the one-time Borussia Dortmund boss has seen his side win each of their last three matchups across all formats. Building off of what was a stunning comeback against Liverpool when opening the New Year, Saturday’s guests should also be boosted by their continued success away from Stamford Bridge. Including back-to-back Premier League wins away at Aston Villa and Brentford, Tuchel’s side have lost just a single domestic away fixture so far this season. However, suffering a 1-0 loss when they faced off against City back in September, the Blues will know they’re in for a tough test here.

Team News

Coming off the bench against Spurs in midweek, veteran defender Thiago Silva will be hoping for a full recall at the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime.

Likewise, also making his return in Wednesday’s 1-0 win, French international N’Golo Kante could partner Mateo Kovacic in midfield.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Saturday’s opponents faced off back in September, Manchester City picked up a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
    • However, Chelsea had won each of their other three meetings prior to that defeat, including a 1-0 victory in last season’s Champions League final.
    • Likewise, Tuchel’s side have won each of their last three away fixtures across all formats.
    • Including winning each of their last seven matchups on the spin, Manchester City have also won 14 of their last five games across all formats.
    • Six of Chelsea’s last seven Premier League matchups on the road have finished with over 1.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    Managing to book their spot in the final of this year’s EFL Cup away at Tottenham in midweek, Chelsea will know that they will face a sterner test here. Breezing past Spurs thanks to a 3-0 aggregate romp, the Blues will know this is their last chance to keep themselves in the Premier League title chase. With Manchester City holding a commanding 10-point buffer at the top of the table, Guardiola’s men are in the midst of what has become a remarkable purple patch. Winning 14 of their last 15 matchups across all formats, Saturday’s hosts should also be boosted by their trip to Stamford Bridge back in September. Landing a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture, we’re backing a similar outcome at the Etihad.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & under 3.5 goals

    Best Odds: 6/4

    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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