- Over 2.5 goals were scored in six of Chelsea’s last seven Premier League matches.
- Both teams also scored in five of those seven games.
- Man City re-started their campaign with two wins and eight goals.
- Man City beat Chelsea in two of their last three meetings.
Chelsea tighten top four grip
Chelsea boosted their chances of holding on to 4th spot at the weekend with a 2-1 comeback win at relegation candidates Aston Villa – a result that opened up a healthy five-point buffer between the Blues and Man Utd in 5th.
Two goals in two second half minutes from Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud did the damage for Lampard’s men, though a home tie against a rampant looking Manchester City outfit should provide a much sterner test than the Villains did.
Chelsea have already been beaten a disappointing eight times at Stamford Bridge in all competitions this season, and it’s worth noting that the Londoners have won more Premier League points on the road in 2019/20 (27) than they have on their own patch (24).
The Champions League qualification chasers have in fact, won less than half of the 15 top flight matches they have contested in West London since August – a statistic that will enthuse Thursday’s opponents Man City.
Man City looking formidable
City warmed up for Thursday’s showpiece fixture at Stamford Bridge with a couple of thumping back-to-back wins over Arsenal and Burnley in Manchester.
Following their convincing 3-0 battering of Arsenal last week, City hit five more goals without reply past a shellshocked Burnley on Monday evening – a win made all the more impressive after the Citizens chose to rest Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s personnel reshuffle should help to dissolve any worries about fatigue in his squad’s ranks, and with their confidence peaking, City should prove a tough team to topple between now and the end of the campaign.
Expect goals at Stamford Bridge
With eight goals in 180 minutes of football since the resumption of play, City’s fit and firing frontline looks absolutely packed to bursting with players in form at the moment – and we should see more evidence to support that on Thursday.
The knee injury picked up by Sergio Aguero on Burnley is a blow, however, the Citizens have an abundance of attacking talent to choose from in his absence.
Having averaged 2.2 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League since the turn of the year, City should prove next to impossible to keep off the scoresheet this week, though Chelsea, who registered at least once in nine of their last 11, have enough high calibre players to respond at the other end.
However, the Blues inability to keep clean sheets has been a major problem this term. The Blues secured just two shutouts in their last 11 attempts, and while their aforementioned quality further up the pitch can dig them out of trouble, we think they will fail to outscore their opponents on this occasion.
Over 2.5 goals were scored in six of Chelsea’s last seven matches, with the Blues shipping two goals in four of those contests. Both teams also registered in a further five of those games during the same period – and we think Thursday’s skirmish between Chelsea and City has all the hallmarks needed for a similarly enthralling watch.
With those factors considered, the over 2.5 goals and both teams to score combination is well worth backing at the prices available, while our correct score prediction tips City’s superior final third quality to triumph in a 2-1 Citizens’ win.
Fresh from big successive wins, and with a host of rested stars returning to the starting XI, we think City have the right mix of confidence and energy to record their third win in four meetings with Chelsea.
Key Battle – Jorginho vs Kevin de Bruyne
Holding midfielder Jorginho served his suspension in the Blues’ 2-1 win at Aston Villa and should be itching to get back to business against Man City this week.
The Citizens can call upon the creative acumen of a fully rested Kevin de Bruyne again after the Belgian was kept in reserve for an hour against Burnley on Monday, and the Premier League’s leading assist maker will be keen to make his mark against his old club.
Chelsea vs Manchester City team news
Jorginho returns from suspension and should come straight back into Chelesa’s team, while super sub Christian Pulisic could start after his heroics from the bench against Aston Villa.
Chelsea predicted line-up: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Pulisic, Giroud
Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus should all slot back into the City XI having been rested against Burnley.
Sergio Aguero will miss out due to a knee injury and might not play agin this season. Two-goal midfielder Phil Foden looks likely to drop out despite his excellent showing on Monday.
Man City predicted line-up: Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Mendy, de Bruyne, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus