Stamford Bridge – Saturday 31st January at 17:30 live on Sky Sports 1
The Premier League is back this weekend after almost 2 weeks with a mouthwatering Saturday evening fixture, as top of the table Chelsea take on second place Man City..
Chelsea haven’t looked themselves since their unbeaten run was ended by Newcastle early in December. They haven’t been playing badly, I just haven’t seen the dominant performances we saw in the first half of the season. The Blues have been getting the results though, apart from their away loss to Tottenham and being dumped out of the FA Cup by lowly, Bradford, they have booked themselves a place in the League Cup final and are 5 points clear in the league. With the chance of going 8 points clear this Saturday, PSG in the UCL in a couple of weeks and a domestic cup final in March, I don’t think José will be too bothered about what some have called the biggest shock in FA Cup history. Chelsea have won every home league game this season and will want to make that 11 wins from 11 on Saturday, that will be Mourinho’s only focus this weekend.
After an almost perfect December, City have started to stutter, they finished the year off drawing with Burnley, throwing away a 2 goal lead in the process. The new year started with a narrow win and poor performance over Sunderland, a hard fought draw with inconsistent Everton and a loss at the Etihad to Arsenal, add that to the FA Cup defeat to Boro last weekend and you see the pressure mounting on Pellegrini. There have been questions regarding his decision to travel to Abu Dhabi for warm weather training last week, flying back less than 24 hours before the FA Cup tie against Boro. Out of both domestic cup competitions and a tough last 16 tie against Barcelona in the UCL, a win at the Bridge on Saturday is desperately needed. City are undefeated in their last 6 away games and have won 64% of their games on the road this season but will need to be back to their best though to improve that percentage this Saturday.
This promises to be an exciting, quick, and ferocious encounter between the two best teams in the country. Chelsea could be without Diego Costa after his alleged stamp/s in midweek which could well alter the price. However, Chelsea’s strength in depth, ability to score from anywhere and 100% home record, there may be some value to be had if he is suspended. City will be without Yaya and new signing Bony as the Ivory Coast have progressed in the African Nations, which is a blow as City are a different team without the influential Toure. My recommendation is to back Chelsea -0.25 @ 1.81.
Price correct at time of writing.
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