Just one week into the new Premier League season and already we have an enormous game to savour. Champions Chelsea travel to play runners-up Man City for a clash that neither side can afford to lose.
Neither side was able to win this league encounter last season, with both matches ending in 1-1 draws. Man City were eager to try and attack to win the games, whereas José Mourinho instructed his side to focus on defence as part of an attempt to frustrate the Citizens.
This is an extremely point in the season for such a monumental clash, but that will not take away from the anticipation and enjoyment.
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini has an exciting new attacking talent in the form of £49 million summer signing Raheem Sterling, who has already performed well during preseason. City needed a piece like Sterling, someone who is capable of conjuring a split-second moment of magic. Sterling will be of vital importance if City is to win.
Sterling’s importance is only heightened due to star striker Sergio Agüero’s absence due to a lack of fitness. Even if he does play in this game, he is unlikely to be the explosive difference-maker that he normally is. The world-class Argentinian is often injured and generally needs a couple of games to rediscover his form.
Chelsea are also not without striker problems of their own. Diego Costa had an incredible first season, scoring 21 league goals, but there are a few concerning moments when Costa appeared horribly prone to injuries. In his absence during the Blues’ 2-2 home draw against Stamford Bridge, neither Loïc Rémy nor Radamel Falcao could make up for Costa’s absence.
With both sides likely deprived of their striking stars at full fitness, this could be another tight contest where goals do not come easily.
Tip one: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.90 Betfair
Tip two: Draw @ 3.30 with Betfair
Both sides are starting the season less smoothly than last year, both in terms of injuries and form. A draw could be an acceptable result for both teams.