With two of the Premier League most astute tacticians going head-to-head, Al Hain-Cole is expecting a fiercely-fought encounter to produce little goalmouth action
The Premier League action will begin with a bang this weekend, as Manchester City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s early kick-off.
A point adrift of their first-placed guests in third place, Pep Guardiola’s men are 11/10 (2.10) favourites with Paddy Power to leapfrog them into top spot with victory here.
However, the Blues come into this match on the back of seven consecutive league wins, and are available at 5/2 (3.50) to make it eight in a row by coming out on top in this one.
Each of the hosts’ last three league games in front of their own fans have resulted in draws, and you can get odds of 5/2 (3.50) on them being forced to settle for a single point yet again this time out.
With plenty of excitement in store, Paddy Power are offering to pay out all pre-match bets on either team should they go 2-0 up at any point, even if they go on to draw or lose the game.
It is easy to forget that the Citizens were eight points clear of the current leaders back in late September, having opened the season with six consecutive victories while Antonio Conte’s men had just suffered a humbling 3-0 loss at Arsenal to make it two defeats in a row.
However, seven matches and seven victories later, Conte’s team have raced ahead of a team that has managed just three victories in that period. This transformation has largely been inspired by a switch to a three-man defence, which has seen the Londoners concede just a single goal in those seven fixtures.
Having been held to frustrating 1-1 draws by Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough in their last three home games, Guardiola’s team cannot be expected to fare much better against the division’s joint best defence.
Instead, a fiercely-fought tactical battle between two meticulous managers is likely to ensure a tight match, with odds of 11/10 (2.10) looking generous on under 2.5 goals being scored.
That bet would have paid out in each of City’s previous three home league games, as well as Chelsea’s last three on the road.
|Under 2.5 goals at 11/10 (2.10) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|