Date: Sunday, August 16th 2015 at 4:00pm BST (11:00am ET)
Venue: Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England
THERE’S no denying Manchester City (1-0-0) had a better opening weekend than Chelsea (0-1-0), but have the betting markets overreacted at such an early stage in the season?
The Citizens dominated West Brom (3-0), thanks to an early brace by Yaya Toure. I mentioned Toure needed to step up in our EPL season preview last week, so it was great to see the midfielder get off to a great start.
Chelsea were a complete mess on opening weekend and they ended up drawing Swansea City (2-2). Chelsea were down to ten men in the match with 35 minutes left, so coming away with a draw could be viewed as a good result.
Thibaut Courtois was sent off and will now miss this match, which means Asmir Begovic will get the start in goal.
Match odds in Man City vs. Chelsea
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- 1X2: Manchester City +115 / Chelsea +248 / Draw +237
- O/U: Over 2.5 Goals -110 / Under 2.5 Goals -110
- Handicap Manchester City -1/2 (+120) vs. Chelsea +1/2 (-145)
City are home, but I believe the markets have overreacted a bit based on last week’s results. Chelsea are a huge price to get the win, while the handicap line isn’t bad either on Chelsea, as a draw would still ensure the bet cashes.
Fabian Delph is injured for City, although it appears he’ll be match fit again soon.
Manuel Pellegrini is going to ease in his players that participated in the Copa America tournament this summer. Neither Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta or Martin Demichelis were in the line-up last weekend against West Brom.
Courtois is suspended, but the Blues are injury-free heading into week two.
City v Chelsea best bets for matchweek #2
Man City have been far from dominant at the Etihad against Chelsea in recent years. There was a time not too long ago when City enjoyed a lot of success against the Blues, but that’s no longer the case.
Here are the league play H2H results at Etihad: 1-1 Draw (2014/15), 1-0 Chelsea (2013/14), 2-0 Man City (2012/13), 2-1 Man City (2011/12), 1-0 Man City (2010/11) and 2-1 Man City (2009/10).
With the current price on the Citizens – I’m not interested in betting on them to win at the Etihad. I believe the public is going to hammer City based on the performances of these two teams last week, but I expect Chelsea to bounce back.
In the last H2H meeting at the Etihad, these two teams combined for nine yellow cards. Zabaleta was sent off after two yellow cards. It was a very rough match and I expect both teams to maintain the intensity this time around.
Aguero isn’t likely to start, which means Wilfried Bony will most likely start upfront again.
Bony was ineffective against West Brom and he’s not likely to bounce back against Chelsea. Players like Toure, David Silva and Jesus Navas will need to dominate the middle of the field and set-up scoring chances in the box.
Oscar scored for Chelsea against Swansea, but they didn’t play well in the opening weekend.
It’s possible the Blues looked past Swansea with Man City coming up next at the Etihad. Jose Mourinho is going to have his side ready. Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic all need to show improvement.
Chelsea only had three shots on target in week 1 – they allowed 11 shots on target. City only allowed two shots on target against West Brom. I believe both teams will struggle to score and one goal may prove enough to get three points.
If we include the FA Cup – the last three matches at the Etihad between Manchester City and Chelsea have gone under 2.5 goals and the last one was extremely feisty. There’s a good chance this trend will continue.
Another reason why I like under is because Aguero isn’t going to start based on Pellegrini’s comments last week.
Scoreline betting odds and tips
- Best Bet: 1-1 Draw (+453) & 1-0 Chelsea (+838) at Bovada
I’m betting a 1/2 unit on the two scorelines above. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if City came out flat after looking so strong on opening weekend. A 1-1 draw is most likely, but I also like betting 1-0 Chelsea for a bit of insurance.
Both Premier League H2H matches last season ended in a 1-1 draw.
The goalscorer markets still aren’t posted at Bovada, but I’ll likely avoid them in this match. Goals will be at a premium and both teams have plenty of players capable of scoring, so it’s too much of a crapshoot.