THE game of the Premier League weekend arrives from Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening as Chelsea welcome Manchester City to Stamford Bridge. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) picks out his favourite betting angle.
Chelsea v Manchester City | Saturday 8th December 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
First visits four in the Premier League on Saturday evening as Manchester City look to extend their winning run to eight games at Stamford Bridge.
It should be an interesting watch from a tactical viewpoint. Both sides like to hog possession – the pair top the charts for passing – but there’s a big difference in how effective they are with the ball.
Chelsea have made 328 sequences that have involved 10 or more passes, whereas Man City have made 347 on the same metric – not much between them, right? Wrong. Of those sequences, Chelsea have seen 60 end with a touch in the box – City have seen almost double that figure with 112 resulting with a touch in the box; streets ahead of divisional rivals.
Given City get the ball in the box frequently, it’s no surprise to see them rack up the corners. The Citizens top the corner table, averaging a mammoth 7.47 corners per-game and conceding just 2.93 on average.
When City get in the attacking third they often look for the through ball between the centre-half and full-back, which places them in a strong assist zone. Getting to the byline is an important feature when looking at corners and City have Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane who are quick and regularly find themselves in this zone. Their full-backs also get forward, which is another benefit for corner backers.
That takes me to my first bet and it’s a standout price with SkyBet of 8/11 for the visitors to have the most corners. Most bookmakers have the same bet around 4/9 so there looks to be some discrepancy in the prices there, it’s even more attractive when you see that Chelsea are 10th in the corner table.
Blues can earn a point
Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are ruled out for this fixture, a big blow for Pep Guardiola. Having said that, they’ve coped without De Bruyne for a sustained period of time but he is the difference maker in the big games. The Belgian scored the winning goal in this respective fixture last season.
Punters will be looking at the away side around even-money here and be tempted in, equally many will glance at the 3/1 on Chelsea at home and think that’s too big to turn down. However, I’m inclined to plump for the 14/5 (BetVictor) on the draw.
Chelsea remain unbeaten at home under Maurizio Sarri, they’ve drawn three here – all against top-half teams in Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton. I think Sarri will see a point against the table toppers as a good result, equally given their injuries a point wouldn’t be a disgrace for the visitors.
City went to Liverpool and the two sides cancelled each other out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar thing occur here. They’ve also drawn away at Lyon and Wolves this season, but they’re yet to lose domestically so I can’t back Chelsea. The draw stands out in the 1X2, for me.