Chelsea v Manchester City Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 06, 2018
Stamford Bridge - Premier League
Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea look to avoid a third defeat in four league games on Saturday as they host Manchester City in the Premier League. The champions have set the pace over the past 18 months, and will be confident of maintaining their unbeaten run.
Chelsea's performance against City at Stamford Bridge last season was cited as a cause of Antonio Conte losing faith of the board. The home side showed a complete lack of ambition, allowing Pep Guardiola's side to pick them apart until they scored the winner.
Sarri may still be without Ross Barkley, meaning another start for Matteo Kovacic is on the cards, with the Croatian offering a safer option in midfield. Marcos Alonso is also suffering from a minor injury, although should be fit to start by Saturday.
Sergio Aguero missed out for City in their win over Watford, although Gabriel Jesus deputised well. Kevin De Bruyne is still set to miss out, with David Silva and Bernardo Silva both likely to start in central midfield.
Chelsea v Manchester City Preview and Predictions
Manchester City's trip to Chelsea should be the perfect match for football purists, with Maurizio Sarri having based his philosophy on the tiki-taka made famous by Guardiola's Barcelona. However, for fans of the two clubs, the game means much more. City go to Chelsea as 19/20 favourites, showing the extent of their superiority over the rest of the league, with the hosts a best price of 16/5 and the draw 3/1.
Chelsea's unbeaten start to the season was ended by their recent visit to Wembley, with Tottenham exploitings Sarri's side's frailties for the first time since the Italian joined, with Wolves also overcoming the Blues mid-week. The manager was keen from the outset to limit expectations and described the club as one in transition, but wins over both Liverpool and Arsenal this season had excited fans. Saturday should provide evidence of whether the Spurs defeat was a fluke, or an issue that needs addressing.
For Guardiola and City, the trip to London also provides a learning experience, against one of few teams at their level. So far this season, the champions have risen to every domestic challenge, with only Lyon providing a different proposition in the Champions League. Moreover, unlike Liverpool, Chelsea set up in much a similar way to Guardiola's side, with a possession based 4-3-3. With two mirroring systems, the two clubs in blue will be able to measure themselves against each other.
Guardiola was very much an admirer of Sarri's Napoli, even when beating them in the Champions League. This Saturday pits the two managers against each other in the league for the first time, and for all the mutual affection between the two, neither side is likely to pull any punches.
Riyad Mahrez to score first at 6/1
The winger was City's best player mid-week against Watford and is starting to show signs of his Leicester form.
Over 2.5 goals scored at 8/13
Chelsea have struggled defensively this season and City have been ruthless up front.