The Premier League title challenge may be a one-horse race at the moment, but on Saturday that could all change.
Man City (1st, 53 points) welcome Chelsea (2nd, 43 points) to the Etihad in a game that could either virtually seal the title for the Citizens in mid-January or revive a real title challenge by the Blues. The potential six-point swing means Man City could earn a seemingly insurmountable 13 points at the top, or Chelsea could shoot in all seven and make things interesting.
Chelsea are coming off their resounding Carabao Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham, emphatically outscoring Spurs on two legs and serving as a statement to the rest of England that Chelsea remain a force to be reckoned with.
MORE: Chelsea advance to Carabao Cup final
Facing Man City is another task, however, as the title favorites have looked almost unplayable at times this season, with machine-like quality for the team.
How to watch Man City v Chelsea
- Dated: Saturday January 15th
- Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
- TV channel: –
- Diffusion: Peacock (subscribers only)
Saturday’s match between Man City and Chelsea of the Etihad will be shown exclusively on NBC’s premium streaming platform Peacock in the US.
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Man City v Chelsea line-ups projected
A COVID-19 outbreak among the Man City squad has left a total of seven first-team players – and manager Pep Guardiola – isolated, and while the manager is back in action, it’s unclear how many players will return. Guardiola also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that there are new positives in the squad, but he did not reveal which players are newly affected.
In addition to this unknown, City lack Riyad Mahrez which remains in service for CAN 2022, but John Stones is thought to be available for selection after returning from a hit. Zack Steffen should return to the bench after his deployment in goal for the FA Cup match last time out, unless Ederson is among those affected by COVID-19.
Man City’s expected starting line-up (4-3-3): Ederson (GK) — Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo — Gundogan, Rodri, B. Silva — De Bruyne, Jesus, Foden.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has no new injury worries to deal with but the team are still plagued with long-term issues like Ben Chilwell and Reece james, while Trevoh Chalobah stay out with his hamstring strain.
The goalkeeper position is still Kepa Arrizabalagais with Edouard Mendy in service for CAN 2022. Andreas Christensen is another absence (COVID-19), but otherwise the team is in good shape. It will be interesting to see if Tuchel returns to his usual 3-4-3 system, or if he continues with the 4-3-3 deployed midweek against Tottenham. If it’s 3-4-3 and Cesar Azpilicueta must play as part of the three centre-backs, then Christian Pulisic could return to his right-wing role.
Chelsea projected the starting line-up (3-4-2-1): Kepa (GK) — Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger — Pulisic, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso — Mount, Havertz — Lukaku.
Man City vs Chelsea odds and predictions
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Obviously, Man City – the best Premier League side by a decent margin – should be favored in this game. But at this point? It’s hard to look past the insane odds given to European champions Chelsea. And even if you’re not interested in picking the Blues outright, you can protect yourself a bit while finding more odds.
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Man City are a spectacular side, but still not without flaws, and this Chelsea side are in very good form and they had Man City’s number last season. Few would object to supporting the Blues here with a double chance hedge (+120) or a minus (+100) or both!
- Money line: Manchester City -145 / Draw +290 / Chelsea +400
- Spread: Manchester City -0.5 (-140) / Chelsea +0.5 (+120)
- O/U 2.5 goals in total: Over -125 / Under +100
- Both teams score: Yes -140 / No +105