August 12, 2015 Football Soccer

The Barclays Premier League gives us a spectacular matchup in just the second week of the season when the past two league champions meet at the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City were spectacular in their season opener, thumping West Bromwich Albion. Meanwhile, Chelsea still seemed quite slow and unfit in a draw against Swansea.

Can the Blues recover their form before their trip to Manchester? Read on as we breakdown the thrilling soccer action to come.

Don’t forget to check out the other spectacular matchups in the Premier League this week. Check out the complete previews for Liverpool vs. Bournemouth and Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal.

Manchester City vs. Chelsea Preview

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

When: Sunday, August 16, 11:00 AM ET

Line: Manchester City vs. Chelsea – view all EPL lines

Betting on Manchester City

Manchester City were firing on all cylinders in their season opening 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Yaya Toure, after an uninspiring 2014 season, was at his devastating best with a brace in the first half of the season opener. His goals were assisted by Jesus Navas and Wilfred Bony. Toure wasn’t the only one who found the back of the net, Vincent Kompany scored on a set-piece situation (corner kick) in the 58th minute.

Lost in the two City mainstays’ performances was the splendid club debut of Raheem Sterling. A £49 million transfer from Liverpool, Sterling was incredible against West Brom, being involved in both of Toure’s goals in the first half. Sterling also gave the team plenty of speed, topping in at 20.16 miles per hour (making him the fastest man on the pitch), to give City a live threat on the counterattack.

No one enjoyed Sterling’s speed the most than David Silva. One of Man City’s best playmakers on the pitch, Silva expertly fed Sterling the ball through West Brom’s defense. But the former Liverpool midfielder had a tame finish, which kept him off the board.

Expect the Silva and Sterling connection to be a key factor against defending champions Chelsea. Silva scored a goal in one of the two league matches against Chelsea last season. Moreover, the Blues will be without their starting goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after receiving a red card for fouling Swansea striker Bafetimbi Gomis inside the penalty area on Saturday. Courtois was given a one-match suspension for his infraction.

Having Courtois out of the pitch should also help open the floodgates for Toure’s hot scoring boot. The league’s top scorer last year with 26 goals, Sergio Aguero, should be fresh to wreak havoc on the pitch after playing a conservative 27 minutes in the season opener.

The Citizens are unbeaten in their last three matches against Chelsea, winning one while drawing the other two.

Betting on Chelsea

It was a very disappointing debut for the defending champions Chelsea. The Blues entered the second half of their season-opening match against Swansea leading 2-1 only to squander the lead when Thibaut Courtois committed a penalty in the box. The Swans scored from the spot and kept the match scoreless from there on for a 2-2 draw.

It gets harder for Chelsea now without their starting goalkeeper, but they could still count on a solid outing from Asmir Begovic between the sticks. Begovic helped Stoke collect all three points in a 1-0 win against Man City at Etihad Stadium last season. He should be solid as long as his defenders such as Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic keep the backline tight.

Despite the draw, Chelsea did have a couple of bright spots. Oscar was incredible in the 53 minutes he played in before being subbed out to put Begovic between the sticks. He was all over the field with 45 touches and making 27 passes. The Brazilian midfielder also scored the first goal of the contest to put Chelsea up 1-0 via direct free kick.

Willian also showed a solid game in 83 minutes of action. He had 53 touches and showed that he could be a factor on defense with four tackles. Having Willian and Oscar in the midfield should help open up last year’s leading scorer, Diego Costa. The Spanish forward didn’t record a goal in the season opener, but had a team-high 20 goals last season.

Chelsea have lost four of their last six Premier League matches at Etihad Stadium.

Writer’s Prediction

Manchester City take a dominant 2-0 win over Chelsea. Create a betting account now and grab a fistful of cash from the best soccer leagues in the world.

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