The excitement of the Cup behind us, we can now concentrate on the Premier League and all eyes will be on Stamford Bridge with Manchester City the visitors on Saturday evening.
Both Chelsea and Manchester City exited the FA Cup in dramatic fashion last weekend. We can expect completely different performances from the Premier League’s top two when they lock horns in west London this coming weekend.
Jose Mourinho’s side made hard work of their Capital One Cup clash against Liverpool last night, however they clinched the winner in extra time and at least have one domestic trophy within their grasp.
This Premier League contest may well prove to be one of the season’s pivotal matches and much will be at stake, leaders Chelsea hopeful of putting more daylight between them and their north-west rivals.
This Sky Sports-televised encounter is without doubt a must-win for both teams, a home triumph moving the Blues some eight points clear at the top. Nevertheless, Manchester City could move a mere two points adrift of Chelsea should they manage a maximum points haul at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Chelsea thrashed Swansea City 5-0 in their last top-flight outing, Manchester City losing ground thanks to their 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal.
As a result, City now move out to 5/1 at 888sport to successfully defend their title this season and Pellegrini’s side must hit back without delay. Nevertheless, Chelsea will be expected to return to top flight action with a third successive Premier League victory.
Frank Lampard scored in the reverse fixture at the Etihad earlier in the season and he should feature heavily in this meeting. The hosts are irresistable at the moment and Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard will pose no end of problems for the visitors’ defence.
Indeed, this will prove a tough test for both defences and much will be required at the back to keep Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa quiet for ninety minutes, the latter now boasting seventeen league goals this season to date.
The undoubted threats are Costa for Chelsea and Aguero for Manchester City. The latter could well have scored far in excess of his current season tally of fourteen had he escaped injury. We shouldn’t ignore Oscar however, the Brazilian scoring twice in Chelsea’s 5-0 hammering of Swansea in their last top flight clash and once in the 2-0 defeat of Newcastle the previous weekend.
We can’t see either side managing a clean sheet on Saturday, however Chelsea will possess the edge and as such, we’ll be backing a home win with both teams scoring.
Our betting tips
Chelsea win, both teams scoring – Boylesports 3/1
Anytime Goalscorer, Oscar – 888sport 33/10