If last season was any indication, the Chelsea vs. Manchester City showdowns should once again go a long way toward deciding the most important titles in England and Europe. It’s what you’d expect when two of the richest clubs in the world with some of the biggest stars and highest payrolls go head-to-head.
The two sides met in the 2021 UEFA Champions League final in May with Chelsea pulling off what was then considered a 1-0 upset victory over the Premier League champions. It represented Chelsea’s third win in a row against Man City across all competitions and all three were masterminded by manager Thomas Tuchel, who only took over the squad in January.
It’s that coaching battle between Tuchel and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola that makes for another fascinating subplot. English media have already pointed out how Guardiola has never lost four consecutive times to any opponent. His unconventional lineup is considered partly to blame for Man City’s loss in the Champions League final, his eighth career defeat to Chelsea, more than against any other club.
Today it’s Chelsea, fortified by the addition of Romelu Lukaku, that sits atop the Premier League, powered by its dominant defensive prowess. It’s what makes Tuchel’s side the slight favorite against a Man City team that already has a loss and a surprising 0-0 home draw against Southampton on its resume. Odds courtesy of DraftKings:
- Moneyline: Chelsea +170 / Draw +230 / Man City +175
- Spread: Chelsea -0.5 (+165) / Man City -0.5 (+175)
- Over / Under Total Goals: O2.5 +100 / U2.5 -125
- Both Teams To Score: Yes -125 / No -105
The margins should once again be tight between these two teams. Chelsea’s airtight team defense has a track record of neutralizing any opponent, including Manchester City. Barring a surprise collapse by either side, another tight, low-scoring match should be expected, with a slight edge to Chelsea for its devastating counterattack which has hurt Man City in the past. That’s the theme in the betting picks below (odds courtesy of DraftKings). Scroll down for more on each.
- Total Goals Under 2.5: -125
- Both teams to score – NO: -105
- Chelsea or tie and under 2.5 goals: +100
- Chelsea Asian Handicap Pick’em: -110 (tie is a push)
- Chelsea 1st team to score: +100
How Chelsea, Man City shape up
It’s a big week for Manchester City, which faces three away trips to powerhouses Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League group stage) and Liverpool (Premier League) in the span of a week. The matches could set the tone for the rest of the season, but they don’t come at an ideal time. Man City has some injury concerns and it is also coming off a 0-0 home draw against Southampton in which it failed to register a shot on goal.
Buoyed by the Lukaku acquisition, Chelsea entered the new season with a clear identity and a swagger befitting the title of European champions. The Blues are rolling with four shutout wins in five Premier League matches, only conceding a single goal via a penalty kick in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool. Chelsea has already won the European Super Cup and its Champions League group-stage opener, while also advancing to the Round of 16 of the Carabao Cup. They’ve shown few weak spots along the way.
Chelsea vs. Man City lineups
Manchester City is hoping for the return of injured center backs Aymeric Laporte and John Stones for this busy stretch, and both were seen back in training this week alongside recovering midfielder Rodri, who last played on Sept. 15. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ilkay Gundogan have also been battling injury, while Nathan Ake is back with the team after the passing of his father.
Outside of juggling potential absences, Guardiola continues to mix and match the abundances of attacking riches at his disposal as he works to find the most effective combination. Only two trios have started more than once: The triumvirate of Jack Grealish, Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus has started three of eight matches so far this season (four goals and five assists in those games), and the Raheem Sterling–Ferran Torres–Riyad Mahrez line got the nod on two occasions, producing three goals and two assists in those matches.
Chelsea manager Tuchel has a similar headache week to week, but his task may be slightly more straightforward if American winger Christian Pulisic continues to be out with his ankle injury. Tuchel says that starting goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is in a race against time to come back from a hip injury he picked up against FC Zenit in the Champions League.
If Kepa Arrizabalaga deputizes once again in Mendy’s absence, he is still a dependable option. He has conceded just six goals in his 11 starts against Tuchel.
Chelsea vs. Manchester City best bets
Even without Mendy, Chelsea is a defensive juggernaut, especially on its home turf at Stamford Bridge. That explains several of the best bet selections below, which are still attractively priced.
Total Goals Under 2.5: -125
In the 18 matches that Tuchel’s Chelsea has played at Stamford Bridge across all competitions, his team has only conceded nine goals. And five of those nine goals came in a single game in which eventual relegation victims West Brom claimed a shocking 5-2 win. So if the opposition is going to score, it’s not expected to nick more than a goal.
Meanwhile, Manchester City has only allowed two or more goals in nine of its last 69 matches (13 percent) dating back to the start of the 2020-21 season. The only problem is that five of those nine matches have seen Man City’s Nathan Ake at center back. If Laporte or Stones can’t recover in time — and it might be too much to throw them in from the start against Chelsea’s attack — Ake is a likely starter.
Both teams to score – NO: -105
A total of 14 of those 18 home games under Tuchel saw Chelsea register a shutout. Two of the other four games had Chelsea shut out on its own turf. Matches at Stamford Bridge under this coaching regime are never supposed to become shootouts.
Chelsea or tie and under 2.5 goals: +100
If you really like the under and wanted to get plus-money for it, pairing it with a Chelsea double chance gets you even money. Chelsea has won or drawn 15 of its 18 home matches under Tuchel.
Chelsea Asian Handicap Pickem: -110 (tie is a push)
This is a Chelsea ‘Draw No Bet’ with better odds (-110 vs. -115) based on that 11-3-4 Chelsea record at Stamford Bridge in all competitions during Tuchel’s tenure.
Chelsea first team to score: +100
Given how effective Chelsea’s team defending has been under Tuchel, and how incisive its transition attack is proving, this is a bet that always has a good chance of hitting. The Blues have taken the lead in 28 of 38 matches under Tuchel (73.7 percent of the time). And four of the other 10 matches were 0-0 draws.
How to watch Chelsea vs. Manchester City
The match will be televised in English (NBCSN) and Spanish (Universo) with both channels streaming on fuboTV (free 7-day trial for new users).