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Chelsea v Man City Tips: Pep's men to close the gap with a win at the Bridge

Chelsea v Man City Tips: Guardiola's side have won their last two league games
Chelsea v Man City Tips: Guardiola's side have won their last two league games

After a low-scoring end to 2020, the new year is off to a cracker as Manchester City travel to London to take on Chelsea this Sunday at 4:30pm, live on Sky Sports Main Event. 

Pep Guardiola’s side saw their last match against Everton postponed due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Cityzens’ squad, but reports in the media state that the issue is now under control and this game will go ahead as planned. 

Prior to that cancellation City were in good form, winning their last two league games away at Southampton and at home to Newcastle, keeping two clean sheets in the process. They have also progressed through to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup once more after thumping Arsenal 4-1 in the quarter-finals just before Christmas so will head into this game full of confidence. 

Chelsea, on the other hand, have won just one of their last five league games and were held in a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa last time out after initially taking the lead in that game. At the time of writing Frank Lampard’s side are now sixth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Everton having played a game more than the Toffees. 

Both of these teams will have aspirations of winning the title in May and both are still within touching distance of top-spot following Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Wednesday evening. City are in much better fettle, however, just seven points behind the league leaders with two games in hand - a win here would close the gap nicely. 

Chelsea will be without Reece James for this match as the England international is sidelined with a hamstring injury, while playmaker Hakim Ziyech remains a doubt. Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma were rested against Villa but both are likely to return for this game. City will be without goalkeeper Ederson, striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker, all of whom are missing due to Covid-19, while Eric Garcia is out through injury. There are reports that Joao Cancelo and Ferran Torres are also potentially out due to self-isolation but no official confirmation on that just yet. 

City edge the betting for this one, given a 44% chance of winning with their odds of 5/4, while Chelsea have been given an implied 32% chance of clinching the spoils with their odds of 21/10; the draw is a best-price 13/5 with 888sport. If the above names are ruled out then it will be worth keeping an eye on the match odds for this tie as Chelsea will likely shorten.

My three football tips for the match can be found below. 

Today's football tips
Chelsea v Man City
Sun, 16:30
Man City to win
5/4
Calculate your returns:
£79.00
Why this Tip?
  • City are unbeaten since November (all comps) and have won their last two league games
  • Chelsea have won only one of their last five PL games
Odds correct as of 2021-01-01 13:40 Odds subject to change.

My first bet is a straightforward one: City to win. I haven’t been impressed with Chelsea recently and it appears that many of the players Frank Lampard broke the bank to sign in the summer are finding it really difficult to adapt to the Premier League. The likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have both looked totally off the pace since arriving for huge fees and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the former dropped for this one due to his dismal form.

With just one win in their last five, confidence is low for the Blues right now, especially after they were humiliated in the recent London derby against Arsenal, a game they lost 3-1. City have been inconsistent this season but have looked strong in recent outings, beating Southampton 1-0 before defeating Newcastle 2-0 prior to Christmas. 

Pep’s side could really close the gap between themselves and leaders Liverpool with a win here and I think they’ll have enough to edge this one, even without some of their key players. At 5/4 I like the look of this play and feel it represents some good value given how poor Chelsea have performed of late. 

Premier League betting
Mason Mount to be carded
4/1
Calculate your returns:
£79.00
Why this Tip?
  • Has four bookings in all comps this term and averages 1.5 fouls per game in the PL
Odds correct as of 2021-01-01 13:40 Odds subject to change.

My next bet is Mason Mount to be carded. The Chelsea midfielder has looked one of the club’s better players when I’ve watched him this season and has four assists to his name so far. 

However, he can often be caught out making a silly challenge which results in a booking; Mount has four yellows this season in all competitions and is averaging 1.5 fouls pG in the league. In a game where I think Chelsea will be chasing the ball a lot and require their more attacking players to track back to help out in defence, there could be plenty of opportunities for the 21-year-old to pick up his fifth booking of the campaign.

4/1 looks a good price for this as a single with Paddy Power, and represents good value given the same bet is slightly shorter at 7/2 with Sky Bet.

Riyad Mahrez 2+ SoT, Christian Pulisic 1+ SoT & N'Golo Kante to be carded
25/1
Calculate your returns:
£79.00
Why this Tip?
  • Mahrez averages more SoT per game than any other City player this season (11 in total)
  • Pulisic has looked sharp in recent weeks and I expect him to lead Chelsea's attacking charge and test Ederson 
  • Kante averages 1.8 fouls per game and has been booked 4 times in the PL
Odds correct as of 2021-01-01 13:45 Odds subject to change.

Last up it’s a 25/1 longshot, featuring two shots on target and a card. 

Christian Pulisic is expected to line up in a front-three at Stamford Bridge and he is a player who always poses such a threat in the final third. The US international scored a stunning goal in this exact fixture at the end of last season and this time out he has averaged 1.9 shots per game in the Premier League. I like the look of Pulisic every time I watch him, he’s such a positive footballer who always looks to test the keeper so let’s hope he can register at least one shot on target here and get this longshot off to a good start. 

Sticking with the SoT market and I’ve backed Riyad Mahrez to register two or more. Much like Pulisic, the former Leicester winger - who has four league goals to his name so far - is a very forward-thinking player who is never shy of shooting from range when he cuts in off the right flank onto his favoured left foot. Mahrez has registered 11 shots on target in 2020-21 and averages 2.5 shots pG (1.1 on target), so here’s hoping that the trend continues in west London. 

Rounding things off is Chelsea’s tough-tackling midfielder N’Golo Kante to be carded. A somewhat unassuming booking-merchant, the Frenchman is averaging 1.8 fouls pG at the moment and has seen his name taken four times - more than any other Blues player. In a high-octane match packed full of intensity I’m expecting Kante to make plenty of firm challenges which could result in him being carded once more.

Good luck to anyone on board with any of these bets, please remember to gamble responsibly and a Happy New Year to you all!

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