Man City v Chelsea – Etihad Stadium at 16:00 live on Sky Sports 1
Man City and Chelsea meet this Sunday afternoon in an early season clash between the two favourites in the title race.
Chelsea began their campaign as favourites to retain their crown, but after last weekends 2-2 draw at home to Swansea, City over took them in the market after their impressive 3-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns.
This should prove as a good acid test for both sides but I’m not expecting a classic. Jose Mourinho would have been disappointed with last weeks draw, but the last thing he’ll want is to go 5 points behind their main rivals even at this early stage of the season.
Everyone is sick of hearing about this bus that Chelsea park but I fully expect it to make an appearance again at the Etihad. When it comes to playing the top sides away from home, Mourinho will take a draw all day long. Three draws on the road at the Etihad, Old Trafford and the Emirates last season did the trick. All seeing under 2.5 goals.
City however, will be full of confidence after their performance against West Brom on Monday night. It could have easily been 4 or 5 but the 3-0 win would have pleased Pellegrini and the fans.
The Chilean was expected to part ways with the Citizens after a trophy-less season in 2014/15 but he’s still there and he has the players playing well.
Although Pellegrini said he is not thinking about the title at this early stage, he knows this is an important game and will want to win. Consistency is something City need to improve on from last year as they lost too many matches they should have won throughout the campaign.
Opening the season with back to back wins, especially one being over the pre-season favourites, will only boost their confidence even more. They are going to find the Blues hard to break down though and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this ends in a stalemate, just as their 2 encounters did last term.
Yaya Toure is expected to start despite picking up a knock on Monday and Aguero could be given the nod in front of Bony who started against the Baggies.
Courtois is out so Asmir Begovic will start between the sticks and Diego Costa is expected to start again as he did against Swansea. Oscar is likely to be sidelined with an ankle injury.
This match is a difficult one to call. I’m leaning towards another City win but Jose is a master technician when not wanting to lose. However, Chelsea haven’t looked comfortable during pre-season and I don’t think they have improved, whereas City have.
Chelsea +0.5 on the Asian Handicap betting market are 1.84, but I think that’s too short,so Man City -0.5 at 2.15 is my recommendation.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Man City -0.5 @ 2.15
Prices correct at time of writing.
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