After beginning the season with five straight wins and going unbeaten in 12, Chelsea has suffered two losses in its last three Premier League games and now must brace for a visit from the top team in the league, Manchester City.
Yes, it’s a quick turnaround for Premier League clubs as December always means a congested fixture list. There were midweek games in the league and there will be nine more on Saturday, including this blockbuster that features some great betting value across the board.
Online shop [custom:bovada-link] has the Citizens as -105 moneyline faves with Chelsea at +300 and the draw +270. The total is tabbed at 3.0 with UNDER -140 and OVER +115. As for the spread, City are half-goal faves at EVEN money while the hosts come back at -120 as dogs.
These two clubs were sort of tit for tat for large portions of the season until recent weeks and now Chelsea will look to make ground on the table toppers, who have looked unstoppable. With two of the top clubs squaring off, we have great betting value offered up here so let’s try to figure out what to bet this weekend.
City in a Class of its Own
What can be said about Manchester City that hasn’t already been said? We know they are the best team in the league and they are leaving a trail of wounded clubs in their wake en route to what appears to be another Premier League title.
Through 15 matches, the Citizens have 13 wins and two draws and, along with Liverpool, are still unbeaten. Furthermore, City has scored 45 goals and conceded just seven for a staggering goal differential of +38. One season ago, it would have been hard to imagine a City team being better than the 2017-18 title winners, but here we are. This team could very well be better. And Kevin De Bruyne, arguably their best player, has played a grand total of 82 minutes.
In a smaller sample, City has rattled off seven straight wins and has outscored opponents 24-4 in those games. Staggering.
At the rate they score, they frequently take care of totals on their own. BUT, if you’re looking for a total to play in this game, you can take a stab at City OVER two goals which is offered at +165 (leaving a push in play) or, if you’re feeling risky, try OVER 2.5 at +255. Like I said, this game is not short of great value.
Chelsea Hitting a Rough Patch
Chelsea began the season in some fine form, winning its opening five games of the season and then proceeding to go unbeaten in 12. Twenty-eight points from 12 games is nothing to sneeze at and they were going blow for blow with City and Liverpool.
Now, Chelsea has dropped two of three games in the league and enters this critical fixture off a poor loss to Wolves midweek. The Blues were throttled by Tottenham 3-1 before returning to Stamford Bridge to see off Fulham 2-0. But then the loss to Wolves midweek put them back on the wrong foot. What’s more, the Blues squandered a 1-0 lead after Ruben Loftus-Cheek opened the scoring. Raúl Jiménez equalized in the 59th minute before Diogo Jota put home the winner just minutes later.
On a positive note, the Blues are pretty much healthy across the board so Maurizio Sarri has a full complement of players to choose from while Pep Guardiola looks like he will be without the services of striker Sergio Agüero.
If you like Chelsea to bounce back from that misstep at the Molineux, 3/1 to hand City its first defeat is a decent price for the fourth-placed team in the table.
City Grabbed All Six From Chelsea in 2017-18
This should come as no surprise considering how much of a juggernaut City was, but all six points in last season’s two fixtures were Manchester’s. That said, both were cagier affairs with City edging the Blues 1-0 in both contests.
Last year’s match winner in this fixture? The aforementioned De Bruyne, who appears to remain unavailable for Pep.
City has only been held off the scoresheet once this season (at Liverpool) and has only been held to one goal in two games (at Wolves, at Spurs). That in and of itself is pretty remarkable.
The Blues are no slouch at the back, however, conceding just 13 times this season, third-lowest in the league. But against Spurs and Wolves, they have looked a bit leaky and against this attack, with or without Agüero, it could prove to be too much to handle.
With Chelsea slipping up a bit recently, I’ll be backing City on the -0.5 spread at EVEN money; it’s just too good to pass up here. Including the Community Shield earlier this year, City has won three straight against Chelsea and has 10 wins, three draws and five losses in the last 18 meetings in all competitions.
It’s more of a risk considering the quality of the opponent but you just won’t catch City at this good a price too often.
As stated, though, there are a plethora of great bets to be made in this game. Whatever you decide to do with your wagers, best of luck.