City off to a Flyer at The Hawthorns
Last season’s runners-up had the perfect start to the new campaign as they brushed aside West Bromwich Albion on Monday night. During the summer, many observers commented that Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Touré was on the decline, unable to impose himself on games and drag the team forward. After 30 scintillating first-half minutes at The Hawthorns, the 32-year-old had silenced any doubters, having a major hand in his sides opening goal and despatching a clinical right-foot finish for the second. With Spanish midfield magician David Silva orchestrating everything that was good about City in an attacking sense, the result of the game was put beyond any doubt just before the hour mark when Captain Vincent Kompany rose to meet a Silva corner and with a combination of head and shoulder, expertly placed the ball past the despairing goalkeeper. Will our “football betting experts” be tipping City for victory on Sunday?
Mourinho Prescribes Less Responsibility for his Medical Team
That the defending champions looked out of sorts in last Saturday’s opener against Swansea City.That they played the final half hour of the match with ten men after goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off for a professional foul.That they twice let their Welsh visitors back into the match to claim an unlikely 2-2 draw was all forgotten about after coach Jose Mourinho took centre-stage again in the post-match press conference. Firstly, let’s set the scene; its injury-time at the end of the game, Chelsea, as we know, are down to ten players when Belgian play-maker Eden Hazard goes down injured. Chelsea pitch side doctor Eva Carneiro and physio Jon Fearn run onto the pitch to attend to the stricken player but Mourinho is incensed at their actions as the team are now theoretically down to nine players. The fall-out from his post-match tirade means that both Carneiro and Fearn have now been stripped of their match day duties at the club.
Aguero Fighting for Match Fitness
Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini is hoping Argentine striker Sergio Aguero will be fit to face Chelsea on Sunday. The player is behind the rest of the team in terms of fitness having helped his country reach the finals of the Copa America in Chile this summer. The 27-year-old played around 30 minutes of the second-half on Monday night and it is believed Pellegrini may leave it until the last minute to decide if his ace marksman is fit enough to start against the champions. Touré was substituted as a precaution on Monday after he felt a slight pain in his groin, City are confident he will make the starting XI for Sunday’s big clash.
Chelsea Aiming to Bounce Back
The champions will look to put all the off-field shenanigans behind them and bounce straight back from last weekend’s home draw. The club attempted to get Courtois’s suspension overturned in the week, but were unsuccessful in their efforts so new summer signing Asmir Begović deputises in goal. More concerning for Mourinho will be the current form of striker Diego Costa who has looked off the pace last week after missing most of pre-season through injury. Colombian striker Radamel Falcao will be desperate to prove his undoubted qualities after disappointing last season on loan at Manchester United. Chelsea can take heart however, from their incredible August playing record in the Premier League era. The Londoners have not lost a match in the opening month of the season since 2006, a run of 28 games unbeaten. Our “football tipsters” will predict Sunday’s outcome.
Probable Starting Line-Ups
Manchester City (4-2-3-1) Hart; Kolarov, Mangala, Kompany, Sagna; Fernandinho, Touré; Sterling, David Silva, JesúsNavas; Augero
Chelsea (4-2-3-1) Begović; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanović; Matić, Fàbregas; Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Diego Costa
Previous Premier League Meetings
The two league meetings last season failed to produce a winner with both games finishing 1-1. Manchester City however, will be all too aware of their wretched record against Chelsea having only won two out of the last nine against the champions.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has an impressive record against his Manchester City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini and on Sunday he will be looking for his eighth victory against the Chilean in 13 meetings.
*Manchester City 2.10 Draw 3.50 Chelsea 3.75
*Odds courtesy of Bet365
By Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)