Sports Betting Weekly

Chelsea v Manchester City

When: Saturday, 31 January 2015 @ 23:30 (FINISHED)
Where: Stamford Bridge
There can be no question where the biggest Premier League game of the weekend will take place, as faltering Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge desperate to get their hopes of retaining the title back on track in the evening kick-off against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.

While it may sound hyperbolic, City’s slip-up at home to Arsenal in the last round of fixtures really does mean this one is about as close to a “must-win” as it gets – the visitors are now five points adrift of Chelsea and in the midst of a worrying run of form that has also seen them deservedly dumped out of the F.A. Cup fourth round by Championship side Middlesbrough.

With the champions displaying a worryingly lack of drive in midfield in the absence of Yaya Toure and a deficiency of goals as Sergio Aguero struggles to rediscover his pre-injury form, City will have it all to do against a Blues side who have won all 10 of their Premier League games at Stamford Bridge this season by an aggregate score of 24-3 and are 19/20 to extend that 100% record in this one.

As such, it is hardly surprising that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have been priced up as 31/10 outsiders for the tie and you can also get 5/2 on the Citizens losing in London without finding the net. It should be noted that City have not failed to score away from home this season, making such a result seem unlikely, but this should be balanced by the fact that Chelsea have kept clean sheets in each of their last six league games at home and prices of 7/10 on both teams registering should be avoided.

Should the visitors manage to find the net, however, who would bet against former Chelsea golden boy Frank Lampard conjuring up another piece of magic to haunt his former club? The last time these two sides met it was Lampard who rescued a share of the points for his new club after netting a dramatic 85th minute equaliser and the midfielder is currently 23/5 to score any time in the game.

That being said, Chelsea defensive record at home and Aguero’s back-to-back blanks have seen the Argentine striker drift to a generous 11/2 to score the first goal – a price that is incredibly tempting given the likely suspension of his Golden Boot rival, Diego Costa – and given his undeniable quality, it would take a brave punter to back him to blank for much longer. For the hosts, meanwhile, there may be additional value to be had on midfielder Eden Hazard at 6/1, who has scored six of his eight goals this season in London.

Naturally, while the onus is on City to win the game, a draw would not be too disappointing a result for Mourinho’s men given it would maintain their five-point cushion at the Premier League summit, and 1-1 is the bookies’ favoured scoreline at 7/1. If, however, you fancy the home side to pile more misery on their title rivals, you can get a bigger 8/1 on them winning 1-0 or 2-1, while the visitors are as big as 14/1 to come away from Stamford Bridge with all three points at either scoreline.