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A dress rehearsal for the all-important Champions League final on 29th May. Both sides put in monumental performances in their midweek second leg semis to assert their dominance on the European circuit, and this looks set to be a cracker.
Man City have now won an absurd 33 of their last 36 matches in all competitions, as only Man Utd, Leeds and Chelsea themselves in the FA Cup semis have managed to overcome them.
They’ll know that three points will be enough to secure the 2020/21 Premier League title with them playing prior to their Manchester rivals this weekend, and so we’d imagine they’ll put out a strong outfit.
Chelsea made Zizou’s Real Madrid outfit look mediocre on Wednesday night, and it’s exciting times for this Blues with an FA Cup and Champions League final on the horizon.
They certainly deserve all the plaudits coming their way and lots of that has to go down to the remarkable job that Thomas Tuchel has done.
They’ve gone W16-D6-L2 since the German took the reins of the club back in January, beating the likes of Spurs, Liverpool, Everton, Porto, Man City, West Ham, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid twice.
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Tuchel’s record against Pep Guardiola does cause some concern, having won just once from their 6 previous meetings although that victory did come in their most recent clash at Wembley in April.
That was also the German’s only fixture against the Spaniard in charge of the Blues, so it makes it a hard one to call.
However, the Citizens have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the two sides in all tournaments when including extra time and penalties since the start of the 2017/18 campaign, including all three at Etihad. Interestingly, seven of those saw either team fail to score and that could be the angle for this one.
The only absentee of note will be John Stones who is still serving his ban for his red card against Aston Villa last month. That will see Aymeric Laporte come in to replace him which is hardly much of a downgrade.
Both Teams To Score (No)
Neither team has been particularly clinical against the best teams in the table this term. City have gone just W2-D1-L2 against the top four, losing to both Leicester and Man Utd in their only two such home games, while the Blues have lost two of their four winless encounter against similar opposition.
From a betting perspective, the best angle looks to be in either team failing to get on the scoreboard.
Three of the Citizens’ last four fixtures against those top sides saw that come in, while that was also the case in three of Chelsea’s four such outings. These are the two best defences in the league and we’d expect at least one of them to hold strong.
One side or the other have failed to score in 11 of Man City’s last 16 in all tournaments, keeping out both Spurs and PSG most recently here, and while that has been the case in five of the London outfits last seven trips.