Chelsea vs Manchester City - Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- Chelsea came from behind to beat Aston Villa last time out
- Manchester City has been in fantastic form since the Premier League restart
- Goals for both teams could be on the cards in Thursday’s clash at Stamford Bridge
|What||Chelsea vs Manchester City|
|Where||Stamford Bridge, London, England|
|When||Thursday, 25 June 2020, 3.15 PM EST|
|How to watch||Fox Sports|
Manchester City found itself in limbo when the Premier League resumed in the middle of June. Then 25 points behind table-topping Liverpool, it was only a matter of time before City would be forced to relinquish its crown as the kings of English soccer.
On top of that, Pep Guardiola’s side knew that a top-four finish might not be enough to secure a place in next season’s edition of the Champions League. City faces a battle in the Court of Arbitration for Sport next month in an attempt to overturn its two-season ban from European competition for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. If the suspension is upheld – or even reduced to a single campaign – it will not really matter where City finish this term.
Yet anyone who opined that Guardiola’s men might ease up are clearly not familiar with the Catalan’s work. Guardiola is one of the most intense managers in the game; he admits to not being able to eat on matchdays due to nerves. And City has duly not looked like a team with little to play for in its last two games, dismantling Arsenal 3-0 and then demolishing Burnley 5-0.
Chelsea’s sole encounter since the restart was a tighter affair, as Frank Lampard’s charges came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1. In truth, Chelsea was unfortunate to fall behind in a game it dominated from start to finish, and its possession and pressure ultimately told with two quick-fire goals in the second half from Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud.
It was a good weekend for Chelsea, which saw fellow Champions League contenders Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United all drop points. But Lampard and co. have a tougher 90 minute in store against an in-form Manchester City.
Chelsea vs Manchester City Odds
|Both teams to score and total goals||Odds|
Odds taken from bet365.
Manchester City’s attack has kept its side of the bargain this season. Despite being 20 points adrift of Liverpool, the current champion has scored 10 more goals than the champion-elect.
Chelsea cannot match either of the top two for attacking output, but it ranks fourth in the division for goals scored. More than 2.5 strikes, with each team netting at least once, therefore looks like a wise choice for this one.
Chelsea in a Strong Position Ahead of Final Eight Games
Chelsea’s deserved win at Villa Park last time outputs it in pole position to secure one of the remaining Champions League spots behind Liverpool and Leicester City. Presuming Manchester City is indeed unable to take part next term, the fifth-place finisher will also reach Europe’s preeminent competition.
After 30 rounds of games Chelsea has a five-point lead over Manchester United in fifth and Wolverhampton Wanderers in sixth. Qualifying for the Champions League would represent an excellent achievement for Lampard in his first season at the helm, particularly as the former Derby County boss has blooded a number of young players in the team in 2019/20.
Manchester City’s 46.74 percent share of possession in the return fixture in November was the lowest a team coached by Guardiola has ever managed. That is an indication of Lampard’s front-foot, proactive philosophy, although he may have to temper that approach a little in Thursday’s match.
City Finding Its Own Motivation Despite Extinguished Title Chances
Until its fate is decided in the courts, City must keep its foot on the gas to make sure of a top-four finish. It seems unlikely that its ban will be wiped out in Switzerland, but until then Guardiola’s side must treat this like any other season and attempt to secure a place among the division’s leading quartet as quickly as possible.
City is in a strong position in that regard, with its latest victory over Burnley giving it a 17-point cushion above Manchester United in fifth. It will soon be mathematically impossible for City to be caught, and the team will need to find its own motivation if it also continues to pull clear of third-placed Leicester.
That should not be a problem. City is still in the FA Cup and Champions League, and Guardiola will know more than anyone that building confidence in the Premier League will help the club’s cause in those other competitions.
Both Teams Like to Play on the Front Foot and the Result Should Be Goals
Chelsea and City will both try to take the initiative at Stamford Bridge, and it is clear that the two teams are stronger in attack than defense. That is why this game is highly anticipated among the neutrals, who should be treated to an entertaining affair.
It is notable that City is one of the few teams to have found its stride almost immediately after the restart, and that bodes well for impartial viewers of Thursday’s match – although perhaps not for Chelsea.
Take the Over option here – the odds might not be the longest, but it is hard to see either team failing to find the net or fewer than 2.5 goals being scored.