Chelsea’s woes continued at the weekend as they drew 1-1 with Nottingham Forest as they looked bereft of ideas, especially in the forward areas. That’s now one win in eight domestic matches now for Graham Potter’s men and while they have faced the likes of Arsenal, Man City, Man United and Newcastle in that time, a club of Chelsea’s calibre should be boasting a better record than that.
Man City have shown lapses this season and although they remain the most dangerous team in the league on their day, Arsenal’s form has meant that any City slip up could massively hinder their chances of retaining their Premier League title. A draw between the Gunners and Newcastle helps City out, though they’ll know they have to get maximum points here against an underwhelming Blues side.
The one thing the London club have in their favour is that this will be played at Stamford Bridge where Chelsea have lost just once all season. Meanwhile, City’s shortfalls this season have largely come on the road as they are just W5-D4-L2 away from the Etihad this year when including the Community Shield. In fact, before their win at Elland Road last week, they’d scored just once in four away outings across all competitions, and while they’re certainly the stronger of these two sides at the moment, it may be a closer contest than their respective form suggests.
Both Teams To Score
Reece James is going to be a big loss for the hosts though. They have 71% win rate when the England full-back has started this season, compared to just 22% in the nine games that he’s missed, managing just three points from the last six games in his absence. His loss is compounded by that of Ben Chilwell, who has an even stronger win percentage, as well as Wesley Fofana.
Man City have some issues at the back themselves, with Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte both potentially out. Pep Guardiola’s side see a 66% increase in goals conceded when Dias hasn’t started since the beginning of last season, keeping just once clean sheet in the last 10 such outings.
With defensive woes on both sides, both teams to find the net seems the likely outcome here with that happening in six of City’s last eight league games against the ‘big six’ and this season’s Newcastle. Kai Havertz has been on the bench in six of the seven times his side have faced City since his arrival, with the exception being when he scored the winner in the Champions League final, and he’ll have confidence of netting again should he get the nod.
BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
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