Manchester City vs Chelsea Preview

English Premier League | Monday February 03 | Etihad Stadium | 22:00




El Cashico

Title favourites Manchester City and Chelsea square off at the Etihad Stadium on Monday. Just three points separate league leaders City from third place Chelsea, so this match could prove pivotal in deciding the league champions come end of the season.

The contest is one of the most eagerly awaited of the season, pitting squads lavishly assembled by Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich, in what many regard as the El Cashico.

Like two boxers going head-to-head, Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho will provide plenty of fireworks in their personal duel to become the Premier League's number one with Arsene Wenger also in the frame.

To Win (90mins)
Man City 17/20 
Draw 5/2 
Chelsea 36/10

MANCHESTER CITY

Pellegrini will be hoping for his side to maintain their goal scoring form on Monday as his unstoppable City take on Mourinho's fearless Chelsea.

Manchester City have played 23 matches in the league and sit top of the table with 53 points having scored over 100 goals in all competitions this season.

The Sky Blues have been particularly impressive at home.

In league play, they are 11-0-0 with 42 goals scored and just eight allowed at the Etihad.

City are riding a prolonged hot streak, including a current seven-match winning streak.

Their last defeat came all the way back in early November, against Sunderland of all sides.

Manchester City has been one of the most free spending clubs in the world over the past two or three seasons, and it has paid off with trophies.

Yaya Toure was one of the first box office signings City made in 2010 once the millions started pouring in from Sheikh Mansour.

There have been many big-name arrivals since then, but Toure remains the heartbeat of this star-studded side.

The Ivorian has now scored 14 goals this season to compliment his power, pace and ability to dominate midfield like few others can.

Manuel Pellegrini can boast one of the most potent attacking forces in football as Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo rip defences to shreds.

The lethal trio have plundered an incredible 60 goals in all competitions between them so far this season as City have destroyed opponents with ease.

David Silva returns to the squad after recovering from a hamstring injury while French midfielder Samir Nasri remains out due to a knee injury suffered against Newcastle earlier in the month.

Of course, it doesn't seem to matter what line-up they use at home, the goals just keep coming in bunches.

CHELSEA

While Chelsea fans continue to grieve the departure of Juan Mata, Jose Mourinho will be looking to give the Blues faithful something to smile about as he aims to be the only manager in the league this season to grab maximum points at the Etihad.

The Blues head into the game in a superb run of form.

They have won five on the spin in the league and like City, Chelsea are unbeaten at home in the Premier League this season.

The attacking trio of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian have been key to Chelsea's outstanding form.

They are gelling together and Mourinho has found his favoured starting line-up.

All three of those players are fantastic going forward, but what makes Mourinho love them is their ability to defend.

Hazard is the one attacking player that Mourinho seems to have decided is undroppable.

His vision, touch and dribbling ability, allied to a willingness to demand possession no matter how tightly marked, has been vital for Chelsea in all competitions.

He has been their star performer this season and will be the man to watch.

John Terry has been outstanding and the fixed and focal point of Mourinho's side.

The skipper's key strength is his footballing intelligence, his awareness of his own body, his reading of the game and, still, his priceless ability to make goal-saving clearances at the moments of greatest danger.

Mourinho could call upon Nemanja Matic, the combative defensive midfielder was phenomenal in their 1-0 victory over Stoke in the FA Cup last Sunday.

Matic will offer Chelsea set-piece height as well as a good range of passing.

New signing Mohammed Salah will join the squad but the inventive Egyptian attacker is expected to be on the bench.

Striker Fernando Torres who scored an injury-time winner against City back in October won't play any part this time around after suffering with a hamstring injury against Manchester United two weeks ago.

Betting Prediction: CHELSEA 36/10
Manchester City have not lost a home game this season, but there have been times when they haven't been convincing but managed to come back into the game and claim three points. That was evident in their 4-2 win over Watford in the FA Cup last Saturday after going two goals down before half-time. City's defence was woeful in that first half but to their credit did well to come back and win it. With The Citizens to travel to White Hart Lane to battle Spurs, Pellegrini would have made little changes to his preferred eleven. Chelsea had the luxury of playing against lesser opponents West Ham on Wednesday. If any manager can do at the Etihad what no one has been able to do at The Bridge, and that’s get all three points, few would bet against Jose Mourinho. Although this proves a difficult task I'm tipping The Special One to get the double over City this season.

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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