ENGLAND: Premier League
Date: Saturday, 08 May 2021
Kick-off at 18:30 UK/ 18:30 CET
Venue: Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
After victory in midweek guaranteed Manchester City their first European final appearance in over half a century, they can now claim the Premier League (PL) title by winning this dress rehearsal for that UEFA Champions League (UCL) showpiece, but they’ll be wary as Chelsea knocked them out of the FA Cup last month. Since then, City have been ruthlessly efficient, winning five consecutive competitive matches by scoring an average of 1.8 goals per game, while netting four times between the 55th and 65th minute across their last three.
However, the ‘Citizens’ have been hit or miss at home in the PL recently, and across their last four such matches have alternated between victories by three-goal margins and defeats in which they conceded in both halves. No clean sheet in five home league matches is also a concern, although they’ve shut out their opponents in three of their last five league H2Hs here (W4, L1).
Chelsea, meanwhile, continue their remarkable upward trajectory since appointing Thomas Tuchel and a win here could indicate they’ll be contenders for the title next year, and put a marker down for the UCL final. Although Tuchel has a losing H2H record against City boss Pep Guardiola (W1, D1, L4), no manager has led his side to more clean sheets in their opening 15 PL games than him (11).
That includes three of Chelsea’s last four away league fixtures (W3, D1), and the ‘Blues’ have only lost one such match this calendar year (W6, D2). Often wrapping up business early, nine of their last ten PL away goals came before the 60th minute.
Players to watch: Ferran Torres has scored in two of City’s last three PL matches, and his last six competitive strikes have arrived after HT. For Chelsea, Kai Havertz has netted three goals in three league appearances, including two match openers.
- Manchester City’s form in last 5 matches: WWWWW.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: WWDWD.
PREDICTION: Draw/Away and Over 1.5