Manchester City v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 3rd December 2016

After hanging on to top spot last weekend, Chelsea face a huge test of their title credentials on Saturday. They travel to Manchester City on the back of a seven game winning run, can they extend that with a victory at the Etihad? This could be their toughest fixture of the campaign, so they’ll need to continue their fantastic form if they’re going to hang on to top spot. We’ll know a lot more about Antonio Conte’s Chelsea after they come through this fixture.

Manchester City looked to be runaway leaders early on, but their dip in form allowed a host of teams back into the picture. They’ve returned to winning ways, but they’re not quite back to their best. With a huge game just around the corner, can Pep Guardiola get his team back to their peak performance level with a highly significant win over the league leaders? They’ll certainly not have it as easy as they did in this fixture last season.

Team News: Conte to ring the changes for big clash?

John Terry missed out on the bench last weekend, he’s set to miss at least two weeks. He said after the Tottenham game that he’s happy to be on the bench with the team playing well. John Obi Mikel remains out, while Kurt Zouma is unlikely to make his return here. There was a lack of intensity in the early stages of the Spurs match, could that tempt Conte into rotating? It is hard to see who he’d drop, and they do have a week to recover and prepare for this fixture. With the Christmas schedule just round the corner, the Blues’ will need to start changing their personnel soon.

To no one’s surprise, Vincent Kompany is injured ahead of this game. The Belgian defender has barely seen any action for City in recent months, and he’s expected to be out for another six weeks. Fabian Delph is City’s only other injury concern. With no midweek EFL Cup action for the Citizens, and with their Champions League fixture next week now a dead rubber, City can name their strongest possible side for this game. That is unless Guardiola tries some odd, unexplainable rotation. Like when resting Sergio Aguero against Barcelona.

Man City Form

City are unbeaten in four in all competitions, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. They’ve struggled since October; they’ve dropped from the standards they showed at the start of the campaign. They’ve gone from champions elect to third place, while their recent displays have been poor. They’ve claimed back to back 2-1 wins in the league, but they came against some really poor defences. Burnley’s defending last weekend was awful, and Aguero was only too happy to pounce on their mistakes.

City have drawn their last three home league matches. In fact, no team has won a league match in Manchester since September 24th, every single one has finished level. City’s last home league win was a week before that, and since they’ve dropped some crucial points. They’ve drawn 1-1 with Everton, Southampton and Middlesbrough, so this is a great time for Chelsea to visit. Could they take advantage of that poor record, and claim some crucial points to go towards their title push?

Manchester City v Chelsea Head to Head

Recent form between these two has seen some interesting results. City blew away both Jose Mourinho’s and Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea last season. In between those two, City fielded a reserve side at the Bridge in the FA Cup, as they wanted to keep their stars fresh for the Champions League. That allowed the Blues to hit them for five, in one of the highlights of a dismal season. Expect this game to be a lot closer in result to the two meetings from the 2014/15 season, when the Blues won the title. Those were hard-fought games, which the away side probably deserved to win on each occasion.

  • Chelsea 0-3 Man City, Apr 2014
  • Chelsea 5-1 Man City, Feb 2016
  • Man City 3-0 Chelsea, Aug 2015
  • Chelsea 1-1 Man City, Jan 15
  • Man City 1-1 Chelsea, Sep 14

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score any time – 5/4 at Coral
  • 1-1 Draw – 13/2 with BetVictor

We expect a very cagey game when these two sides meet. Given that the Blues have conceded just once in their last seven matches, it might be worth backing against this being a high scoring affair. Under 2.5 goals certainly looking appealing at 43/40 with Bet365, we can’t see this being an end to end clash. Conte will set his side up to be hard to break down, and lethal on the counter. This will be a new chance for the front three to operate in a different way, which could bring a lot out of them. Normally they move and look for space, but now they’ll be trying to break into space in a quick counter-attacking move.

This is a shootout between the Premier League’s joint top scorers. Diego Costa failed to find the net against Tottenham, so Sergio Aguero joined him on 10 goals at the top of the scoring charts. However, the Spanish forward doesn’t tend to be goalless for long, and we can see him getting back into the swing of things with a strike against City. He bullied the City back four here two years ago, and now that he’s back to his best we can see a repeat of that. We’re backing the forward to score any time, at 5/4 with Coral.

Given City’s three consecutive 1-1 draws, we can see a similar result on Saturday. These two played out two 1-1 draws back in 2014/15, when they were evenly matched. After last season’s blip, they seem back on the same level. This will be a really tough test for the hosts, and we’re backing these two to walk away with a point each. A 1-1 draw here is priced attractively at 13/2 with BetVictor.

Chelsea v Tottenham Betting Tips (Premier League) – 26th November 2016

After moving to the top of the Premier League last weekend, things are only getting tougher for Chelsea. They host unbeaten Tottenham next, with the title hopefuls four points behind in fifth place. In this tight battle for the Premier League trophy, no side can afford to fall too far back. Could that inspire Spurs to a first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990? That’s not a record that Antonio Conte will want to surrender.

When you look at the Blues’ recent form, it’s hard to back against them. However, Spurs are yet to taste a league defeat this term, and they maintained that with a spirited fightback at home to West Ham on Saturday. One thing we can expect is a heated game, these two saw plenty of cards when they met in May. Expect another fiery contest between these two, seeing as both are looking to push for the title.

Team News: Will Conte finally make a change?

The Blues have seen a few of their fringe stars get some game time this week. The Under 23 squad played on Monday, with a few big names featuring: John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi all played. They were also joined by Marco Van Ginkel and Kurt Zouma, who are working back to fitness.

None of those are likely to feature, seeing as Conte has kept the same side for five straight games. With a week break in between and no major injuries or suspensions, why would he change things now? Expect that same 11 to get another go this weekend. However, we do expect rotation to start in December, with a busy schedule coming up.

Tottenham could have quite a few injury doubts for this game. They’re set to be without Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies and Erik Lamela for the weekend’s game. Before their clash with Monaco, Mauricio Pochettino said that a few more stars might not be up to scratch either. He said to reporters, “We need to assess (Harry) Kane, (Moussa) Dembele and (Dele) Alli.” It’s thought all three might not be ready to play 90 minutes quite yet. That could leave them very short ahead of one of their biggest games of the season.

Tottenham Form

Spurs are still unbeaten in the league, but their win over West Ham ended a seven game run without recording a victory. They are already out of the EFL Cup, while they are heading for a Champions League exit too. The Premier League title is their main aim this season, but they’re already fifth in the pecking order. Could they be struggling from taking on too much this term, without having the squad to cope?

They’ve been shy of goals lately, Vincent Janssen up front struggled to replace Kane while the England striker was out injured. In their last match with West Ham, they started with two forwards, but they had a tough time getting around the Hammers’ 3-4-3 formation. That could be a big bonus for the Blues this weekend. It was only Slaven Bilic’s changes which allowed Spurs back in to the game, so they could have a tough time against the Blues and their new set up. Conte’s new tactic looks to be one that the Lilywhites struggle to deal with. They don’t have much time to think of a way to counter that system, seeing as they’ve got midweek commitments to worry about.

Chelsea v Tottenham Head to Head

Even when the Blues were struggling last term, Spurs still failed to take advantage. Both of the meetings last term finished level, which cost Tottenham two points in their failed push for the Premier League title. Danny Rose admitted that the players cried in the dressing room following their 2-2 in May, which handed Leicester the title. Can Chelsea leave them in tears again this weekend?

  • Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham, May 2016
  • Tottenham 0-0 Chelsea, Nov 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham, Mar 2015
  • Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea, Jan 2015
  • Chelsea 3-0 Tottenham, Dec 2014

Betting Tips

  • Over 1.5 Chelsea goals – 31/40 with BetVictor
  • Diego Costa to score any time – evens with Bet365

Last weekend’s game showed that Tottenham do have a few vulnerabilities at the back. With Alderweireld out, they don’t look anywhere near as solid. There’s no bigger test of their defence right now than a game against Chelsea, who are scoring goals for fun, especially at the Bridge. They’ve scored 12 goals in their last three league outings at home, against some quality sides. They put four past Manchester United, and hit five against Everton last time out. They’ve done all that without conceding a goal, which is a pretty remarkable run.

Momentum is carrying the Blues through some tough games with ease, and that’s partly down to their great scoring record. Can they continue that by taking advantage of a shaky Spurs defence? The 3-4-3 set up clearly troubled them at White Hart Lane, so it’s hard to see them coping when they travel to the Premier League leaders. We can see Conte’s side adding another couple of strikes onto their tally for the season, so we’re backing over 1.5 goals at 31/40 with BetVictor.

A key part of Chelsea’s recent strong scoring form has been Diego Costa, who currently leads the race for the Golden Boot. He’s hit 10 goals in 12, which is the kind of form that shot the Blues to the league title in 2015. He found the net 20 times that season, and he’s already on course to better that tally. With six months of the season still to go, it’s easy to see him hitting the 25 goal mark. With Spurs struggling at the back, Costa is going to be hard for them to handle. Given his excellent scoring form, we think he’s fantastically priced at evens to score against Spurs this weekend.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 20th November 2016

Chelsea head to Middlesbrough on Sunday, will their visit be as successful as their last? They were 5-0 winners here in 2008, and they’re in good enough form for a repeat. Coming off a 5-0 win before the international break, will they continue their fantastic form? They’ll want to continue their winning run to keep up their push for the title. Ahead of this weekend they’re just a point behind leaders Liverpool.

Middlesbrough have made an unspectacular start to their return to the top flight. They’re fighting relegation, but there are at least three weaker sides in the division so far. They have a solid home record and some quality players, but will that be enough to trouble the Blues here? The visitors need to negotiate this trip with many of their stars returning from all corners of the continent.

Team News: Any change to winning formula?

The big drama over the international break was the injury to Diego Costa. That may have seen him miss the friendly with England at Wembley, but the forward is expected to return here. The big worry is that he’s a booking away from a ban, with Tottenham to come next weekend. Antonio Conte is likely to finally have Kurt Zouma available though. That said, the Frenchman may not even make the bench with the current competition for places at centre-half. It’s hard to see him replacing Terry among the substitutes.

It’s also hard to see Conte making too many changes to his in-form side. He’s settled on an 11, and even last season’s player of the year is missing because of that. Willian has had some mitigating circumstances for his absence, but can he force the Pedro and Eden Hazard pairing apart? We can’t see any chances being made from the side who beat Everton 5-0 last weekend.

Middlesbrough are without defenders James Husband and Daniel Ayala for this clash. They have former Manchester City man Alvaro Negredo up front, but they look short of options at the back. Can any of their defenders keep pace with the Premier League’s top scorer on Sunday? This should be a game to enjoy for Diego Costa. Can he add to his nine goal haul this term?

Middlesbrough Form

The hosts come into this game in an awful run of form. They’ve won just one of their last 10 matches, while they have just two league victories to their name all season. They’re just a point above the drop, and if any of the bottom three start to pick up, Boro could be in massive trouble. Few expected them to struggle this much during the summer, they were odds-on to avoid the drop before the season began.

Aitor Karanka’s men did pick things up in their last game though. Marten De Roon scored late on to give them a fine 1-1 draw away to Manchester City. That wasn’t exactly a result they earned, it was courtesy of City’s poor league run and tame finishing. Chelsea have been a lot more ruthless and clinical than the Citizens in recent weeks, so it’s hard to see a repeat of that result. The hosts have lost three of their last four at home, and the Blues are odds-on to make it four from five this weekend.

Middlesbrough v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have a fantastic record against Middlesbrough, having won the last six meetings between the sides to nil. The 5-0 victory on their last league trip here was a rare highlight under Luis Felipe Scolari, before things began to unravel for the World Cup winner. The last meeting between these two came in the FA Cup, with the Blues coming out on top. You can tell that 2-0 victory was some time ago, as Victor Moses was among the scorers. He’s now back in the starting line-up, could he find the net again at the Riverside? The way the Blues are playing, every outfield player looks like a scoring threat.

  • Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea, Feb 2013
  • Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough, Jan 2009
  • Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea, Oct 2008
  • Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrough, Mar 2008
  • Middlesbrough 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2007

Betting Tips

  • Diego Costa to score any time – 4/5 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win to nil – 29/20 with Coral

Diego Costa was among the players to score past Everton in the last game, which kept him top of the Premier League scoring charts. The forward has missed both of Spain’s international fixtures through injury, but hopefully that short break leaves him fully rested ahead of this game. He’s been key to how the Blues have played this season, and the fact that he’s at risk of a suspension is a big worry. Costa can be relied on for goals, but you can’t rely on him to keep his cool.

The former Atletico Madrid man won’t hold anything back, even with a suspension potentially on the cards. He’ll be at full intensity when the team travel to Middlesbrough, and that’s why we’re backing him to grab a goal. The forward has nine in 11 in the league this term, which is an outstanding return. Middlesbrough have just one home clean sheet all season, and we can’t see them adding to it here. A goal for Costa is our tip, which is priced at 4/5 with BetVictor. He’s 11/4 to open the scoring with Sky Bet.

We’re also backing an away win to nil in this game. Not only have the Blues kept six straight clean sheets against Boro, but they’ve recorded five in a row in the league. The 3-4-3 formation is working well for the Chelsea defence; it’s changing a lot of perceptions around David Luiz. With Conte’s side finally looking like they have that Italian steel at the back, we’re going with an away win and clean sheet on Sunday. That’s priced at 29/20 with Coral.