Manchester City V Chelsea
Monday 3rd February. 8:00PM. Sky Sports 1
Monday Night Football serves up a potential title decider as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea head north to face a Manchester City side who still boast a 100% home record.
Pelegrinni’s men have been insatiable at the Etihad but this could be their hardest test of the season. With the wealth of talent on show, it should be an absolute belter.
Battle Of The Blues
Arsenal fans will tell you differently but there’s a good chance that Monday’s competitors will finish first and second, it’s just a question of which order that’s in.
City’s form at the Etihad has been nothing short of phenomenal. Not only do they have a 100% record but they’ve brushed aside the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs by winning by a minimum of three goals. Liverpool are the only rival to even come close to an upset, but even they succumbed to the Blues dominance by losing 2-1.
Now that City have recovered their poor away form, they look favourites for the title and a run of 34 points from a possible 36 at such a crucial stage is the sign of champions.
United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ are now starting to suggest that they could even go one better than the Red Devils treble of ’99 by winning a haul of all four trophies. Whether that is possible remains to be seen, but Pelegrinni will at least be confident of winning the league.
The last manager to achieve that feat in his inaugural season was Jose Mourinho, and the Chelsea coach will be aiming for a repeat in the first campaign of stint number two.
If the west Londonders can leave the Etihad with at least a point, then they’ll certainly be in with a shout.
Chelsea Missing The Special Juan?
The biggest problem for Jose’s side may be adapting to life without Juan Mata. The two time Chelsea Player of the Year was allowed to depart for Manchester United last week and inevitably the Blues failed to score in their very next league match, against struggling West Ham no less.
Chelsea’s striker troubles have been documented all season but what they do boast is a wealth of midfield talent that perhaps even surpasses that of City. Juan Mata was certainly one of them.
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However, the Spaniard was not first-choice in Jose’s plans. Selling a game changer is still a peculiar decision midway through a title challenge though. On Wednesday, Chelsea couldn’t find a way passed the double-decker parked on the West Ham goal line, subsequently dropping two vital points – you have to wonder whether Mata could have been the key.
Blues fans shouldn’t worry just yet. Chelsea created chance after chance in that match and perhaps it was just one of those days. One thing is for sure, though, they’ll need to be far more economical if they are going to get anything from Monday’s clash.
Manchester City V Chelsea Betting
With their perfect home form, City are obviously favourites. However, the bookies believe Chelsea could push them all the way and Bet 365 have priced it; City 4/5, Draw 5/2, Chelsea 7/2.
Chelsea failed to score with over 30 shots on Wednesday and will not be allowed anything like that number of chances on Monday. You fear that Eto’o has already had his defining game, against United, whilst Demba Ba has looked sheepish (sorry) in front of goal all year.
Chelsea’s best hopes of scoring may be Fernando Torres, but it’s hard to know if he’ll even play. Meanwhile, City should almost certainly score at some stage. If they can keep the visitors at bay then it should be another three points in the bag.
City win to nil is 5/2 with SkyBet.
Once again Bet Fred are including the Monday night game in their DD/HH promotion so they are probably the best bet for a first scorer bet. With 15 Premier League goals already, it’s hard to dismiss Sergio Aguero’s chances and the Argentina striker is priced 7/2.
At Old Trafford earlier in the season, Mourinho pretty much played for the draw and a repeat of those tactics would hardly be a shock here. They might be able to keep things tight for the first half, but eventually City should find a way through.
Draw-Man City (Ht/Ft) is 4/1 and best placed at Bet365 due to the bore-draw offer.