Manchester City v Chelsea Preview

English Premier League | Sunday 21 September | Etihad Stadium | 17:00




The “Clash of the Titans” awaits us this Sunday as Chelsea travel to the Etihad to take on Manchester City in a mouth-watering encounter. Jose Mourinho got the double over Manuel Pellegrini last season winning 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and 1-0 at the Etihad. However, City did get some sort of revenge when they beat The Blues 2-0 in the FA Cup and of course claimed the Premier League title. 

To Win (90mins)
Man City 27/20
Draw 24/10
Chelsea 18/10

MANCHESTER CITY


Manchester City showed the heart of champions by fighting back late in the game to earn a 2-2 draw at Arsenal last weekend. 

Arsenal looked set for victory when Alexis Sanchez slammed home a sumptuous volley in the 74th minute, after Jack Wilshere's neatly constructed goal had cancelled out Sergio Aguero's first-half opener for City. 

But Argentina centre-back Martin Demichelis headed in an Aleksandar Kolarov corner to prevent Pellegrini's side from slumping to a second consecutive defeat after their shock 1-0 loss at home to Stoke City. 

The draw leaves City with seven points and only two wins in four Premier League matches this season. 

The season may only be a few weeks old, but The Sky Blues find themselves in the midst of a hugely important run of matches. 

City’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal was the first instalment of a three-game run against some of Europe’s top sides. 

A midweek trip to Munich where City kicked off their Champions League campaign in the Allianz against Bayern would have taken a lot out of them and now come up against the Premier League pacesetters Chelsea. 

As weeks in football go, it’s about as difficult as you can get. And with new signing Fernando set to miss the clash due to injury, the importance of his compatriot Fernandinho—who was outstanding against Arsenal—increases. 

Fernandinho’s showing last weekend has brightened the picture somewhat. He was superb, producing a display full of energy, pace, desire and tackling that nullified Arsenal’s midfield. 

After a slow start to the season, it was a performance that reminded everybody just how good the Brazilian is. 

Against a Chelsea team boasting an in-form Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, Fernandinho will need to be at his very best. 

Yaya Toure missed the match against Arsenal after returning late from international duty and Pellegrini will be hoping the Ivorian can give his team a lift. 

Aguero has been in sparkling form this season and could be a handful for Mourinho’s defence. The Argentine has three goals so far and will be looking to add to his tally. 

If City do not beat Mourinho's men at the Etihad this weekend, the title race could be over before it ever really began. 

If Pellegrini is lucky, perhaps no one will notice that the silver of last season's Premier League trophy is already beginning to tarnish. 

CHELSEA

Chelsea made it four wins out of four in the Premier League after coming from behind to beat Swansea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge last Saturday. 

The Swans took a shock lead through a John Terry own goal and, for spells of the match, looked like holding on. 

But Diego Costa drew Chelsea level shortly before the interval and added two more goals after the break to complete his hat-trick, with a fourth coming from new signing Loic Remy, to ensure Chelsea are now the only side in the Premier League with a 100 percent record. 

Despite The Blues excellent start to the season, Eden Hazard didn’t really impress through the Premier League leaders’ first three matches. 

Against Swansea, however, the Belgian playmaker was back to his best, setting up teammates with exquisite passes and making brave, heads-up runs into the goalmouth. 

The one-two he played with Fabregas in the build-up to Costa’s second goal was especially eye-catching. 

Hazard has peaked at the perfect moment as Mourinho will need him to be at his best against Manchester City. 

Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 works for a number of reasons, firstly in Matic they have one of the best defensive midfielders in the league. 

The big Serbian’s presence frees Fabregas to push forward and really control the tempo that Chelsea play at. 

Around Fabregas the attacking midfield trio all interchange freely and move about, causing problems for the defences. 

All three perfectly understand their defensive responsibilities and they all track back to help the defence, even Hazard. 

Gone are Chelsea's problems in attack; Costa has arrived on the scene. Since moving to the Premier League, the Spaniard has made the transformation from Spanish football look easy. 

After four games, he has seven goals, becoming the first player in history to hit such a tally so early into his career in England's top flight. 

His goalscoring form has put Chelsea in the driving seat early on in the title race, and they now look a formidable force with the ability to outscore and outmuscle any opponent. 

At the Etihad Mourinho could drop either Oscar or Schurrle and play a 4-3-3 with Ramires put into the midfield in order to provide energy and to control the centre of the pitch. 

Betting Verdict: CHELSEA 18/10
The match will most certainly have title ramifications and both teams could play it safe. City and Chelsea will be looking at this match as a ‘must not lose’ scenario and it could turn out to be a delicate sparring match of a game, rather than any high-intensity attacking football. With that being said, the impressive refurbishment of an already strong core, most notably in the shape of outstanding new signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, should help Chelsea edge the win. 

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

Bet on this match now at Hollywoodbets.net! Haven’t got an account? Open one here now!