Soccer fans get an early-season treat this Sunday, August 16 as the top two teams in the 2014/15 English Premier League season will be facing each other. Reigning league champions Chelsea are heading north to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester to take on runners-up Manchester City. Chelsea dropped a pair of points in their season opener as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Swansea while City took all three points with a 3-0 shutout over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns in Birmingham. Chelsea was also beaten in this year’s Community Shield 1-0 a week earlier by London neighbors at Wembley Stadium.
Manchester City vs Chelsea Betting Preview
- bet365 lists Manchester City as the current favorites at 11/10 while Chelsea is 26/10 and a draw is 12/5
Head to Head:
- City and Chelsea played to uneventful 1-1 draws last season at both Stamford Bridge and Etihad Stadium. In their previous three encounters, Chelsea won two of them with City taking the other with one of them being and FA Cup clash. These two teams have squared off against each other 152 times over the years with Chelsea winning 63 of them, losing 50 and drawing the other 39. City has won just twice in their past nine meetings with Chelsea in Premier League play to go along with three draws and four defeats. Chelsea hasn’t lost a league game in the month of August in their last 28 outings with 23 wins and five draws. The last time they were beaten in August was a 2-1 decision at Middlesbrough back in 2006.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will have to do without the services of Belgian international goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for the next three games as the team’s number one goalie was sent off with a straight red card last week against Swansea. Ironically, Czech international keeper Petr Cech was sold to Arsenal during the summer transfer window and Asmir Begovic was signed to replace him. Therefore fans should expect Begovic to get the nod for the next three starts. Chelsea also enters the game with Spanish striker Diego Costa suffering from nagging injuries as usual.
The Courtois sending off wasn’t the only talking point after the draw with Swansea as Mourinho publicly criticized team doctor Eva Carneiro for treating Eden Hazard on the pitch close to the end of the game. Mourinho said Hazard didn’t need treatment and Carneiro’s actions left the squad another man short at a crucial point in the contest. It seemed a ridiculous thing for Mourinho to do and he’s been raked over the coals for it by the press and numerous medical associations. If the manager wanted to express dissatisfaction with the situation he should have started and ended his criticism with Hazard for faking an injury.
The biggest news from Man City has been the purchase of English international forward Raheem Sterling for 49 million pounds from Liverpool. However, midfielder Yaya Toure was the scoring hero in the match against West Brom with a pair of goals while Belgian international defender Vincent Kompany chipped in with the other.
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