Chelsea (+275) at Manchester City (+110), Draw (+250)
The two primary contenders for the 2015-16 BPL title will clash in just their second fixture of the season as Manchester City host defending champion Chelsea at Etihad tomorrow (11:00 AM Eastern), looking to get an early edge in the standings.
Coming in the earliest of early stages, this game isn’t a must-win for either team. But it certainly has that feel for both sides.
Thanks to additions like striker Raheem Sterling, the Citizens enter the season as slight favorites to oust Chelsea as league champs. It’s hard to see them doing so if they can’t knock off the Blues at Etihad, though.
Chelsea, meanwhile, already saw two points slip away in their first fixture after drawing at home against Swansea (2-2). They will want to prove to the English soccer world that they are still the team to beat. A loss would see them fall five points behind City in the BPL table.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho summed up the import of the game thus to the BBC: “I cannot say it’s crucial, it’s decisive, or it’s very, very important. But it is two title contenders, and three points. … The season is very long. Thirty-eight matches is an eternity, a marathon which started last week and ends in around 10 months.”
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini echoed those sentiments.
“We are not thinking about the title in the second game but we are thinking about trying to win our points at home, especially as we are playing against the champions, and one of the teams that has a lot of chances to win the title”, said Pellegrini to the press.
Man City beat West Brom comfortably last Monday (3-0). Midfielder Yaya Toure put on a show, scoring twice in the win.
City obviously looked like the better team in week one, but Pellegrini has long struggled to get the better of Mourinho, posting a 2-3-7 career record against the Portuguese manager. Given that City are at home and both matchups last season ended in a 1-1 draw, this looks like another match that will finish all square.
Pick: Draw (+250).
(Photo credit: Warrenfish (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)