Manchester City v Chelsea, Premier League, Sunday 21st September, 4pm
Sunday’s clash between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad certainly feels like the Big Title Showdown Game of the campaign so far.
City, not quite the goal machine of last term, have got the job done for the most part so far. They are a team with an effortless grace about them which stems from the demeanour of manager Manuel Pelligrini.
Chelsea have evolved into a team Jose Mourinho now believes can go all the way. Last season’s mantra of steely concentration with the bite of cobras has made way for demolition with artistic licence.
Even if City have an owner even richer than Chelsea’s and consequently a bigger wage bill, Chelsea have spent prudently in this transfer window and have made a clear statement with their play that they won’t be blown out of water by anyone.
Money can’t buy success, eh? Oligarch Abramovich and Oil monarch Mansour have reshaped the football landscape with their billions.
It’s far from a two horse race yet… but these two clubs are now setting down a new power base.
Things can still go in cycles but the sheer sums of money would seem to protect these clubs from spiraling into decay rather like, well, Manchester City and Chelsea did by the end of the Seventies.
At the start of that decade the two clubs seemed poised to dominate for some time.
When Man City visited Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October 1970, City were holders of the European Cup winner’s Cup and Chelsea had just won the FA Cup, both hugely glamorous trophies back then for two very glamorous teams.
That particular game ended 1-1 and was most notable for a stunning long range volley by Colin Bell that is a reminder that those boys knew a thing or two about technique back then too.
Would this new more audacious Chelsea settle for a similar result..? Quite possibly.
Man City go into their clash with Chelsea as favourites with Coral at 7/5. The draw is 5/2 with a Chelsea win 15/8.
Despite the goalscoring talent on display a 0-0 at 11/1 would not surprise – City are 17/2 to win 1-0; Chelsea 10/1 to repeat the 0-1 scoreline from last season.
BOBBY’S BET OF THE DAY: A draw this early in the season suits both teams, lump on at 5/2.
Odds courtesy of William Hill.