The biggest game in the English Premier League this weekend doesn’t take place until Monday Dec. 12th when league leaders Manchester City will try to keep their unbeaten streak alive at Stamford Bridge where they take on Chelsea.
Chelsea has been playing well recently with 3-0 wins over Valencia in the European Champions League and Newcastle in their last EPL match. City’s last games were 2-0 wins over Bayern Munich in the Champions League and 5-1 over Norwich in the EPL.
City has scored 48 goals already in 14 league games while Chelsea has been struggling defensively and has allowed 17 goals in 14 league matches, but have clean sheets in their last two games. City sit on top of the table with 12 wins and two draws for 38 points while Chelsea are in fourth place with nine wins, a draw and four losses for 28 points. A win for City here would leave them with a 13 point lead over Chelsea, something that would be extremely tough to overcome.
A lot of City players joined the club because of their highly-inflated payments, but to also take part in the Champions League. Since they’ve gone crashing out in Europe some of them could be a little dejected and it’ll be manager Roberto Mancini’s job to make sure his squad is mentally prepared for the game in London.
Sergio Aguero leads the way for City with 11 goals in league play so far and Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli are also high-scoring options for the striker’s position. Chelsea has some decent power of their own with Didier Drogba, Juan Mata, and Daniel Sturridge. Fernando Torres is still there, but has been a complete bust since Chelsea wasted 50 million pounds on him and it looks like Frenchman Nicolas Anelka is going to leave the club and head to China.
Chelsea needs to go with their top scorers if they want to give City trouble, which means they need to start Drogba with Mata and Sturridge and leave Torres on the bench. City also has the best defensive record in the league, but will be without defenders Micah Richards and Aleksandar Kolarov. However, keeper Joe Hart is one of the best in the EPL, but so is Chelsea’s Petr Cech.
Man City beat Chelsea 1-0 at home last season while Chelsea won their home fixture 2-0. Chelsea has won three and lost two of their last five games overall while City has three wins, a draw and a loss. Chelsea should go into this game with some confidence after advancing in the Champions League while City could be on a bit of a downer.
If Chelsea takes the initiative and plays an attacking game they should come out of this game with at least a draw.
Sportsbook William Hill has the current odds of a Chelsea win listed at 7/5 and a City victory at 2/1. A draw is listed at 11/5.