Manchester City’s quest to delay Liverpool’s coronation continues on Thursday night when they pay a visit to a Chelsea side who will be looking to move three points closer to a top-four finish. So who will get the three points they need?
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Chelsea v Manchester City Predictions & Tips
Manchester City have been in flawless form since the 2019/20 campaign resumed, racking up the goals in comfortable back-to-back victories over Arsenal and Burnley. Their way 5-0 win over Burnley on Monday night could have been even more convincing, but five goals were more than enough to make Liverpool wait a little while longer to get their hands on the silverware, and City will now aim to prolong that wait a little longer by making it three on the bounce since returning to action.
Looking to halt City’s winning ways, and unintentionally hand Liverpool to the title in the process, are a Chelsea side who also boast a perfect record since the season resumed – one game, one win. The Blues visited struggling Chelsea last weekend and although they dominated proceedings they fell behind to a Kortney Hause strike just before half-time. That did not knock them off their stride though – by the hour mark they were back on level terms through Christian Pulisic and just two minutes later the comeback was complete as Olivier Giroud hit the back of the net.
Chelsea have now won three games on the bounce in all competitions, a run that also includes an FA Cup win over Liverpool and 4-0 rout of Everton, but can they make it four-in-a-row at City’s expense or will Pep Guardiola’s do the double over the London club?
Since returning to action City have been in cruise control, putting three past 10-man Arsenal before sticking five past hapless Burnley, but were Guardiola’s team that good or have they so far benefited from facing weak opposition? David Luiz’s calamitous cameo that culminated in him being sent off handed City the spoils against Arsenal, and City were then able to capitalise on a pitiful defensive display by Burnley to put them to the sort. I say pitiful, at times the Burnley defending was downright inept as they made some basic errors that could have gifted their hosts more than five goals.
But with all of that said, we do know just how good this City team are even if they have failed to match the lofty expectations they had coming into the season. They are the second best team in English football by some distance and they are better than Chelsea. The Blues have performed well in Frank Lampard’s first season in charge despite the transfer embargo that has hung over their heads, and that summer warchest will be boosted further if they can make it into the Champions League. That quest is unlikely to be boosted by three points at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
I am backing Manchester City to run out winners here, setting up a showdown with Liverpool on July 2 that could finally complete the title ‘race’, and there a couple of ways to back them to win. The first is combining a City win with both teams to score – they have not really been challenged defensively so far but they should be here, and Chelsea did hit the back of the net when these two clubs faced earlier in the season. Alternatively you back City and Over 2 Total Goals. Guardiola’s men have looked very sharp going forward and should cut that Chelsea defence apart multiple times, while the home side can also help the total goals tally in defeat.