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Betting Tips for Manchester City vs. Chelsea — EPL

Chelsea Blues(10-2-1) @ Manchester City Citizens(9-3-1)

  • Where: Etihad Stadium. Manchester, England
  • When: December 3, 2016 7:30 am EST
  • Moneyline: Manchester City (11/10) vs. Chelsea (23/10) or Draw (5/2)
  • Over / Under: Over 2.5 (8/11) vs. Under 2.5 (43/40)

It’s a high-profile crunch contest to open December and Match Day 14 in the Premier League on Saturday when front-runners Chelsea visit Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.

Both first-year managers — Antonio Conte at Chelsea and Pep Guardiola at City — have done masterful jobs with their sides in what could be one of the most closely contested title races among a bunch of teams in years. The Blues hold a slim one-point lead over both Liverpool and Manchester City, with Guardiola’s team narrowly trailing the Merseyside squad on goal difference for second.

manchester city chelsea EPL betting tipsChelsea are the in-form team of the moment in the Premier League, with seven wins on the bounce since being swept aside 3-0 at Arsenal on Sept. 24. Conte made the switch to a three-man backline — which he used to great success at Juventus before arriving in London this summer — in the second half of that defeat, and Chelsea have outscored opponents 19-1 during their impressive run to the top of the table.

That lone goal allowed came Saturday, ending a 601-minute shutout streak before Chelsea rallied past Tottenham Hotspur to win their London derby 2-1. Pedro brought Chelsea level just before halftime and Victor Moses scored the match-winner shortly after the interval as the Nigeria international has finally found a home with the Blues after predecessor Jose Mourinho had loaned him out to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United.

Manchester City, who have qualified for the knockout round of the Champions League with a match to spare, are expected to field a full-strength lineup for this contest. The Citizens are unbeaten in their last six contests (4-2-0) across all competitions but finally won back-to-back league matches for the first time since late September following their 2-1 win at Burnley last Saturday.

Sergio Aguero’s goals on either side of halftime wiped out an early deficit for City, giving the Argentine striker a staggering 33 goals in his last 34 matches. The win capped an exhausting week for Guardiola’s team, which also won at Crystal Palace in Match Day 12 around a Champions League draw at Monchengladbach that secured passage to the round of 16 in Europe’s most prestigious club tournament.

Aguero is Chelsea’s bogey man

There is a reason bet365 has Aguero at 20/21 odds to score in this match — he has absolutely tormented Chelsea during his career. The man they call “Kun” has nine goals in 11 career matchups, including a hat trick in a 3-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge in April in the most recent meeting between the teams. Aguero has had either a goal or an assist in five of City’s last six matches against Chelsea in all competitions, and the South American striker appears poised to continue his rich run of form.

Costa, Hazard and Pedro serve as fulcrum of Chelsea’s offence

After struggling in their title defence last season, Conte’s 3-4-3 formation has allowed Chelsea to flood forward to create scoring opportunities. Hazard, the 2014-15 PFA Player of the Year, has rebounded from a disastrous 2015-16 campaign to serve as primary playmaker. He, Costa and Pedro have combined for 13 of the 19 goals in this seven-game winning streak, and Costa has shown off playmaking skills of his own with three assists in that span.

Both players, though, have not enjoyed much success against Manchester City. Costa has one goal in four lifetime matches, while Hazard found the back of the net for the first time in 10 career contests in a 5-1 FA Cup victory in February in which City sacrificed their title hopes by playing a youth-laden squad.

Who Will Be in Guardiola’s Midfield?

With the return of Yaya Toure to the fold in league play, Guardiola has an embarrassment of riches in the midfield, which will be the centre of the action of this game. Toure, though, could make way for Kevin De Bruyne if he wants to drop the Belgian behind Aguero and Nolito in attack and pair the Belgian with Raheem Sterling in a diamond to counter Chelsea’s 3-4-3 that will see N’Golo Kante give chase throughout the centre of the park.

My Bet Choices for the Manchester City-Chelsea Match

Chris AltrudaThis article was written by Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has spent more than two decades as a sportswriter, first for ESPN SportsTicker in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he rose to the level of college sports coordinator and was NCAA Men's Basketball Columnist. From there, he moved onto The Associated Press, where Chris started as an editorial assistant in their MegaSports division in the AP's headquarters in New York City before taking on the role of Scores Manager. He most recently served as an editor for nearly 11 years for STATS' editorial department based in Northbrook, Illinois, writing game previews for all US professional and major college sports as well as the English Premier League and international soccer. Currently a freelancer, Chris is still working the international soccer beat and other assorted projects. A native New Yorker and graduate of Marquette University who still refers to them as the Warriors, Chris is now holding out hope the Jets will reach a Super Bowl in his lifetime since the Cubs proved miracles are possible by winning the 2016 World Series. Chris can be found on Twitter at @AlTruda73

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