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Premier League Tips: January 5th

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Chelsea vs Manchester City

Thursday night’s Premier League match-up at Stamford Bridge pits two teams not quite at it.

City sit second in the league, but they know that they cannot afford too many more slip-ups if
they are to rein in Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The home draw with Everton was a case of two dropped points as City dominated possession
(72%) and almost tripled the number of Everton’s passes. But Everton equalised with their only
shot on target to grab a share of the spoils.

Pep Guardiola said afterwards that his side did all they could to win the game and Everton, to
their credit, defended manfully with Ben Godfrey getting right under the skin of Erling Haaland.

More worrying for City fans were the comments about “body language” in training as Guardiola
went some way to suggesting why the likes of Phil Foden and Joao Cancelo have not started
any games since the World Cup.
City have, though, lost only once away from home – a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool. They brushed
Leeds aside after Christmas and nobody has conceded less goals (six) on the road.
The bookies have City down as overwhelming favourites, with Chelsea a 9/2 shot on the Kings
Road.
But if City have faltered of late, then Chelsea – who travel to the Etihad in the FA Cup at the
weekend – are in reverse. Things have not gone according to plan for Graham Potter, whose
side face a battle to finish in the top four.

Three straight defeats left Chelsea’s international contingent leaving for the World Cup with a
sour taste in their mouth – and the win over Bournemouth and draw at Forest has not sweetened
that as yet.

Potter admitted his side were not good enough at the City Ground.

Potter said of the first half: “Our performance level wasn’t good enough to take the three points.
We didn’t move the ball fast enough, [and there was] not enough movement.
“When the game became a bit more out of control [in the second half] we suffered with the duels
and struggled to deal with that aspect. It’s a tough game; Forest played a good game but we’re
disappointed with our performance over the 90 minutes and concerned we didn’t deserve the
win. It would have been unfair [for us] to take the three points.”

It’s a huge concern for Chelsea fans. Potter has not been able to get the fluency in the Blues’
attacking play, but they have only conceded six goals at home.

Arsenal are the only side to beat them on home soil, but they will have to lift their performance
considerably to get anything against City.

Goals may well be hard to come by at Stamford Bridge, with Man Utd and Arsenal only
managing to score once against Potter’s side.

Interestingly City have been drawing at half-time and winning at full-time in their last three
matches against Chelsea and that trend could continue.

City are expected to find a way through, just as they did in the EFL Cup win (2-0) over the Blues
in November.

Key stats

  • Man City are undefeated in 39 of their last 42 PL matches
  • Man City have been drawing at half-time and winning at full-time in their last three matches
  • against Chelsea in all competitions.
  • There have been under 2.5 goals scored in seven of Chelsea’s last eight PL games
  • Man City have kept a clean sheet in their last three matches against Chelsea in all competitions.
  • Chelsea have seen under 2.5 goals in their last four matches against Man City in all
  • competitions


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