Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Manchester City v Chelsea
Sunday 16th August. 4PM. Sky Sports 1
This weekend’s headline fixture comes courtesy of an early season screamer at the Etihad as the two title favourites collide in a phenomenal Super Sunday showdown.
After last year’s dramatic draw, in which Chelsea legend scored a late goal for Manchester City, the neutrals will be hoping for an equally inspired contest between the Premier League’s two best sides. However, as far as the two managers are concerned, points are the only important factor.
The winner could take an early psychological edge in the 2015/16 title race. It should be a cracker!
Sterling Set For Home Debut
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have gone a little under the radar this summer, but their dominant display against West Brom last Monday suggests that the Citizens are ready to fight for the Premier League crown in 2015/16.
Their one big signing was the acquisition of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool, and the 20-year-old is adamant that he has joined the Etihad club to win silverware. The exits of two or three players does suggests that Pellegrini may still be in the market for another striker, but the return of Sergio Aguero should be a huge boost as they look to beat the defending champions.
Meanwhile, the Citizens will have been pleased to see Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany enjoy positive starts to the campaign after a difficult season in 2014/15. Meanwhile, if David Silva can provide the ammunition from midfield, the home side have every reason to believe they can pick up a vital win here.
The Etihad will be in good voice, will it be enough to see them punish the wounded Blues?
Can Blues End Difficult Week On A High?
It hasn’t been the greatest of starts for the champions. They dropped two points at Stamford Bridge in their Premier League opener and have also been in the headlines for Jose Mourinho’s treatment of physio Eva Carneiro.
Nonetheless, Chelsea still boast a talented side and will be difficult for Manchester City to break down regardless of Thibaut Courtois’ suspension. The Blues boast last year’s Player of the Year in Eden Hazard, but will be sweating over the fitness of Diego Costa. His situation could have a huge say on the outcome.
It’s hardly panic time at Stamford Bridge after dropping just two points. Still, they cannot afford to fall too far behind City, even at this early stage. The Blues must avoid defeat and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Mourinho elects to park the proverbial bus.
Chelsea would probably settle for a repeat of last year’s 1-1 result, but a win could really fire a warning to their title rivals. Prepare yourselves for a classic.
Manchester City V Chelsea Betting Tips
With home advantage on their side, Manchester City have been priced as the 21/20 favourites by bookmaker Bet365. The same firm make Chelsea 5/2 underdogs while the draw can be backed at 12/5.
There’s no doubt that this will be an intense battle and both teams will be desperate to avoid defeat at the very least. It could take a moment of magic to settle proceedings and we think the new Manchester City star could be the man to do it.
Sterling received plenty of abuse over his handling of his Liverpool exit while the Citizens have been mocked over the fee. However, there is little doubt that the England man will improve Pellegrini’s side. After a promising debut last week, we’re backing him to cap his first home start with a goal.
After 1-1 draws in both of last season’s matches, we’re expecting another tight but entertaining contest here. However, on this occasion, we think the odds are slightly in Manchester City’s favour.
Asmir Begovic is a great keeper, but it’s always hard in your first start for a new team. Meanwhile, if Costa isn’t fully fit, it could hinder Chelsea’s chances too. It’s not very often that we’d back the Blues to lose and we certainly expect them to fight. Nonetheless, we’re backing the Citizens to edge it.