Chelsea’s first defeat under Guus Hiddink was always a matter of time but they have at least kept themselves in their Champions League tie with PSG after a narrow 2-1 defeat. However, it’ll be a tough ask to turn that around and the FA Cup is clearly their best chance of success this season. It might also be for Man City quite soon unless they can turn their form around, as this match is the first of four consecutive games away from the Etihad that features trips to Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, Liverpool in the Capital One Cup Final and then Liverpool again in the league.
Chelsea have seen an improvement since Jose Mourinho departed but they are still a long way from the swashbuckling form they showed at the start of last season. Thrashing Newcastle in their last game here certainly had more to do with the ineptitude of the visiting defence and a form guide at home that features draws with Man Utd, Everton, West Brom and Watford, plus a win over Scunthorpe, hardly suggests they should be almost evens to beat a side that were until a week ago favourites to be the next Premier League winners.
City’s form, of course, isn’t much to shout about having lost consecutive crucial home games against title rivals. It might almost be the case that they’ll find life easier on the road at the moment, and they have won three of their last four away matches, albeit against mediocre opposition.
This is definitely a case of two teams who are underperforming at present but City have held the edge in recent meetings. They won 3-0 in August while both meetings last season finished 1-1 and the previous match to that was at this stage of the 2014 FA Cup when City had a 2-0 success. Further back since 2009/10, City’s record against Chelsea is W9-D3-L4 and having not lost on the road in the Cup since 2008 (W6-D4-L0 in the meantime) they look to be worth siding with.
If anyone is going to ignite this City side it is Sergio Aguero, who has scored in five of his last six appearances and has netted in four of his last five games on the road. He’s certainly a proven scorer against the biggest teams, with seven goals in 14 matches against Barcelona, eight in eight against Man Utd and six in 12 against Chelsea. He’s 2.95 to score at sometime in the game but we just prefer City as a Draw No Bet, though Aguero to score and City to win is a tempting double at 5.0.
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