Chelsea vs Manchester City 2018
A defeat to Wolves in midweek (2-1) has made this a match that Chelsea simply must win – despite the task at hand. Maurizio Sarri’s men do at least boast an unbeaten home record under his management, winning by a margin of two or more goals in each of their last four Premier League (PL) home wins.
When facing teams that finished in last season’s top four, Chelsea usually contrive to produce a low-scoring first half. Going back to the start of 2017/18, the first half of all 11 games in that category have all produced under 2.5 goals, with a clear majority (eight) seeing under 1.5 goals.
The tally of 41 points from 15 games that City have attained is just one short of the same amount Pep Guardiola’s men had after 15 games last season. Ahead of kick-off, the champions have also scored a league-high of 3.43 goals per match across their last six PL outings.
Still comfortable title favourites, City have not conceded 2+ away goals in a PL game since January 2018 (14 matches) with that game being a defensive blip in a run that would otherwise extend back to October 2017 – or 20 PL away games.
Players to watch: Chelsea rookie Ruben Loftus-Cheek got a disputed goal in midweek against Wolves – albeit in vain.
Riyad Mahrez was linked to Chelsea before moving to City, and is in hot form right now with a goal and assist in midweek.
Stat attack: Chelsea have scored first in eight of their last ten matches (in all competitions), returning a record of: W7, L1, from that octet.
Last season, Manchester City did the double over Chelsea, with 1-0 wins in both league fixtures.
City are also the only PL team yet to ‘lose’ a first half this season.
Will not play
van Ginkel M.
(Achilles Tendon Injury)
De Bruyne K.
Referee: Oliver M. (Eng),
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)
Referee: Probert L. (Eng),
Venue: Old Trafford (Manchester)