Man City v Chelsea betting tips: Champions look to boost title bid
Manchester City v Chelsea betting tips and odds
All eyes will be on the Etihad this weekend when Premier League champions Manchester City host Chelsea in a top-of-the-table clash.
City will go 13 points clear for at least 24 hours with victory against the Blues in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off and are priced at 4/6 to repeat their win at Stamford Bridge towards the end of September.
Defeat for Thomas Tuchel’s side will surely end their title aspirations, so let’s examine some of the issues and odds in our Man City v Chelsea betting tips.
Man City v Chelsea form
Pep Guardiola claimed 10-man Arsenal “were better than us” in City’s last Premier League outing on New Year’s Day but the champions still managed to run out 2-1 winners courtesy of Rodri’s stoppage-time strike at the Emirates.
That goal ensured an 11th successive Premier League victory for City, a run which has already put them within sight of a fourth title in five seasons which is priced at 1/12.
Five of those wins came by one-goal margins and that has been the case in the last four meetings with Chelsea, so a home win by that method looks an interesting option at 13/5 in our Man City v Chelsea betting tips.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have drawn four of their last five Premier League games, three of which produced goals at both ends which is available at 15/4, although a simple share of the spoils is 29/10.
The Blues’ last Premier League outing was a thrilling 2-2 draw with title rivals Liverpool, who led by two goals inside half an hour only to go in at the break level thanks to a spectacular volley from Mateo Kovacic and a fine finish from Christian Pulisic a few minutes before the break.
The draw at Stamford Bridge came without Romelu Lukaku who was dropped by Tuchel for comments made by the Belgian about his unhappiness at the club, although the two have since made up.
The former Inter Milan striker returned to the starting line-up in the 2-0 Carabao Cup semi-final win against Tottenham and scored against Chesterfield in the FA Cup.
Head to head
The away team has prevailed in the last three Premier League meetings and a fourth win is available at 4/1, but Chelsea faced a Liverpool team without manager Jurgen Klopp, keeper Alisson Becker, striker Robero Firmino and defender Joel Matip, and are expected to find life much tougher in Manchester.
The teams famously met in last season’s Champions League final in Porto where Chelsea ran out deserved 1-0 winners against a subdued City side in May, but four months later the boot was on the other foot when Gabriel Jesus’ second-half effort took a deflection off Jorginho to seal a much-merited 1-0 win.
Lacklustre Chelsea failed to have a single shot on target compared with the four taken by City who had 15 efforts in total and 59% possession.
The hosts have been making fast starts lately, scoring inside the first half an hour in five of their last eight games, so we go 2/1 on them being ahead after half an hour or it’s 17/4 on them leading in the 15th minute as they were against Watford, Leeds, Newcastle and Leicester recently.
Tuchel went with a 3-4-2-1 for the Liverpool game but chose wing-backs in a 3-5-2 for the defeat by City, so it remains to be seen which formation the German will deploy at the weekend.
Guardiola was criticised for not picking a holding midfielder in the Champions League final, but he did not make the same mistake in this season’s Premier League meeting in which Rodri played in front of the defence.
The Catalan will go with his usual dizzying 4-3-3 formation without a focal point in attack which means Chelsea’s central defenders – likely to be Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and possibly Andreas Christensen – could be chasing shadows.
Chelsea will have to accept City will dominate possession, so their key man is likely to be N’Golo Kante who has missed the last two games after a positive Covid test.
The France midfielder’s ability to break up play with key tackles and launch counter-attacks will be crucial to Chelsea’s hopes of victory to keep their title hopes alive.
Man City v Chelsea team news
Guardiola missed Friday’s 4-1 FA Cup win at Swindon because of a positive Covid test and seven first-team players had to isolate in the build-up to the third-round tie, so stand-in Rodolfo Borrell had easy decisions to make about the line-up considering how few players he had at his disposal.
Many of the players that were missing are likely to be back for the weekend, like Phil Foden, but Riyad Mahrez is away on international duty with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
🗣 Rodolfo Borrell says City hope to have Pep Guardiola back this week to personally oversee preparations ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Chelsea.
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— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 9, 2022
Tuchel will be without Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and Ben Chilwell, who could miss the rest of the season, but Silva is expected to return.
However, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is in Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, so Kepa will continue to deputise.
Bernardo Silva struck in Friday’s FA Cup tie and is 7/1 and 13/5 in the two markets but of the outsiders Joao Cancelo is always worth a second look at 22/1 and 8/1 considering how many shots he takes on average per game (2.2).
Where: Etihad Stadium
When: 12:30, Saturday 15th January
How to watch: BT Sport
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication