Touted as the two leading contenders before the season, Chelsea’s clash with Manchester City could have a big effect on the title race and on your Bank Holiday weekend fund if you play your cards right.
Despite not hitting the heights that many expected before the start of the season, both Chelsea and Manchester City will be fairly happy with their lot going into one of the biggest games of the season so far.
Both are within three points of league leaders Arsenal and some of the key men on each side are beginning to hit top form, but the desire to avoid handing an edge to a title rival, even at this stage of the season, will be on the minds of Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini ahead of Sunday’s showdown at Stamford Bridge.
With that in mind, it wouldn’t surprise us if it was a cagey affair and a straight up draw looks pretty tempting at 23/10. You rarely see a side of City’s calibre quoted at odds of 21/10 but before you go lumping on, bear in mind that it has been 60-odd games since a Jose Mourinho side lost a league game at home and the Blues have a 100 per cent record at the Bridge this season.
A more prudent approach would be to look at the total number of goals scored and if you think that Sunday’s game will follow the pattern of the last six league games between the sides, under 3.5 goals is available at 4/11 but under 2.5 goals at 10/11 is far tastier if you feel that both managers will adopt a more conservative mindset.
On the other hand, the absence of Vincent Kompany is a huge blow to City, who might feel that attack is the best form of defence and go for it. City scored three and Chelsea scored four in their last league outings so if you’re confident they can even go close to repeating that, you can get 19/10 for over 3.5 goals and if you’re feeling really ambitious, 19/4 for over 4.5 goals.
As regards who’s going to score the goals themselves, there’s no striker quite as hot right now as Sergio Aguero, who has five goals in his last three games and six in his last eight.
The diminutive Argentine is 6/1 to score the first goal on Sunday and if you combine that with a 1-0 away win for City, it’s a pretty appetising looking 45/1. More realistic is an Aguero goal at any time in a Man City win at odds of 4/1.
Fernando Torres may have scored twice against Schalke during the week but the words ‘barn door’ come to mind as far as his league form is concerned – he hasn’t scored a single goal – and it is from Chelsea’s attacking midfield trio where goals are most likely to come by.
Eden Hazard has scored four goals in his last three games for the Blues and can be backed at 9/1 to score the first on Sunday and 3/1 to score at any time.
The same odds apply to Oscar, the most consistent Chelsea midfielder this season and an Oscar goals combined with a home win is a pretty generous 5/1.