Chelsea vs. Manchester City Soccer Picks & Final Score Prediction

Kevin Stott

Monday, August 10, 2015 5:16 PM GMT

Chelsea and Manager José Mourinho head to Manchester on Sunday to face Manchester City. With this series being so tight and low-scoring of late, is backing the Under a good pick? Let’s examine.

Odds Overview
Manchester City vs. Chelsea [Sunday 16:00] (NBCSN, NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo (US); Sky Sports 1/HD UK, Sky Go UK, SKY GO Extra, NOW TV (UK); 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT)

Defending English Premier League champions Chelsea (26-9-3, 73 GF-32 GA last season) head to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Sunday to face last season’s 2nd place club, Manchester City (24-7-7, 83 GF-38 GA) in the marquee game of the weekend in England’s top flight of football. Odds makers here have made host Manchester City -114 favorites here over visiting Chelsea (+229) with the Draw priced at +240 (bet365) with the Total Goals in this high-profile fixture set at 2½, with the Over and the Under both juiced at -111 (bet365). Some Props wagers for this wonderful Week 2 Premier League fixture from Sky Blue Mancunia: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ -137, ‘No’+100 (bet365); To Win To Nil: Manchester City +300, Chelsea +500 (bet365); Team To Score First: Manchester City -120, Chelsea +110 (Sky Bet); Draw No Bet: Manchester City -162, Chelsea +115 (Bwin); and, To Win To Nil: Manchester City +300, Chelsea +500 (bet365).

 

Chelsea FC
The big story for Chelsea (11-5-3 Away, 37 GF-23 GA) here is that it will be without starting GK Thibaut Courtois who will be serving his 1-game Suspension for a foul and Red Card near the edge of the box against Swansea City’s Bafetimbi Gomis in the Blues’ 2-2 Draw with the Swans at Stamford Bridge on Saturday on Matchday 1. So, that means backup keeper Asmir Begovic will get thrown into the fire here against Manchester City, although the former Stoke City man looked pretty good in his stead of Courtois.

Expect Chelsea Manager José Mourinho to make the focus of this one Defense, with regular Defenders and Defending Midfielders John Terry, Gary Cahill, César Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fàbregas sitting a bit farther back on the pitch here with the Sky Blues having such and skilled and speedy attack force. In the Attacking Midfield for Chelsea, the same trio which started vs. Swansea City in the opener—Eden Hazard (+210 , Anytime Goalscorer, BetBright), Oscar (+333) and Willian (+400)—will likely get the call with star Striker Diego Costa (+140), who is still nursing a Hamstring injury, up top in Chelsea’s familiar 4-2-3-1 tactical formation. On the bench, Strikers Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco loanee) and Loïc Rémy, Midfielders Ramires and Victor Moses and Defender Kurt Zouma seem like they would all be logical choices if The Special One makes any substitutions—and he will—and most Blues fans are probably hoping backup-backup GK Jamal Blackman won’t have to come in for some strange reason on Sunday.

Expect the Blues (+187 to win EPL, bet365) to be tight and nervous and Chelsea hasn’t looked settled in its last three games—a 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield; a 1-0 loss to Fiorentina in a Friendly in West London last Wednesday, and, in the opener last weekend against an upstart Swansea City side. And against City, without Courtois, at the Etihad, that could present a big problem. Chelsea currently looks like it’s a club which is a Costa injury away from a crisis and one which didn’t sign enough real talent this Transfer period.

 

Manchester City FC
Manchester City (14-3-2 Home, 44 GF-14 GA) has or is in the process of losing some really decent soccer players from its deep roster over this Summer Transfer Window with Edin Džeko (likely to sign with AS Roma this week), Stevan Jovetic (on loan to Inter Milan), James Milner (Liverpool) and Frank Lampard (NYCFC, MLS) all gone from Sky Blue Mancunia. But City Manager Manuel Pellegrini and club management knew all this was coming and has been planning for all these moves for months and should be a bit stronger when all of the dust settles and the Citizens still probably possess the most attack-oriented Roster in the Premier League.

The Citizens (+200 to win EPL, bet365)—with GK Joe Hart, captain Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta, among others—play great Defense too. On Offense, this club can look to the league’s leading goal scorer last season (26), Striker Sergio Agüero (+170, Anytime Goalscorer, BetBright) for the big goals, but Wilfried Bony (+190), David Silva (+280), new-signee Raheem Sterling (Liverpool, +190), Yaya Touré (+260), Samir Nasri (+300), Jesus Navas, Fernandinho and Fernando all give Manager Pellegrini a very nice problem to have when looking for goal. Fearsome depth. All of these cats can score, and the little cat that stirs the drink is David Silva. On Matchday 1 later today (Monday), City will be in the West Midlands facing West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns (NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT; Odds: Manchester City -149, West Brom +462, Draw +309; Total: 2½o -126, Pinnacle) in what looks like a nice spot to bet Manchester City.

 

Series Trends, Conclusions
Lifetime in EPL play, Chelsea holds a 54-38-40 (191 GF-165 GA) edge over Manchester City, but here at the Etihad Stadium, the Citizens are 30-17-19 (96 GF-74 GA) against the Blues and are 4-2-1 in the L7 meetings here. Last year, the Blues from West London won both games against City by 1-0 scorelines, whereas the season before (2013/14), both games ended in 1-1 Draws.

So, the L4 games in this series have all gone Under the Total with just 6 goals being scored in those 4 meetings (1.25 gpg). With Courtois out, as mentioned, expect Chelsea to sit back a little more on Defense and take a more conservative approach in terms of Offensive. The realities that this game is at Manchester City, that the Blues could only earn a Draw in their Home opener and that Chelsea will be without Courtois along with Costa’s Hamstring problems all add up to an approach where the visitors may be willing to settle for a Draw—anything but a Loss—and the hopeful point here.

For Chelsea, Costa, Hazard and Oscar will be the key on the attack and expect the Sky Blues to be fairly physical with the two smallish AMFs. For Manchester City, Silva will be the key and after Drawing to the Blues two years ago here at Home and then losing to them last season, expect the Sky Blues to find a way to get a goal or two through either Agüero, Bony, Silva, Navas or new kid on the block, Sterling. Also of note here: Chelsea will have had 8 days of rest (Sunday-Sunday) heading in here while Manchester City will be working with just 6 (Tuesday-Sunday). Expect conservatism, and maybe boredom to rule in this match.

Predicted Final Score: Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0
EPL Soccer Picks: Under 2½ -111 (bet365), Manchester City Draw No Bet -162 (Bwin)

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