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Home advantage key in crunch clash

Home advantage key in crunch clash

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Chelsea can bring an end to Manchester City’s unbeaten start to the campaign when last season’s Premier League champions take on Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring team on Saturday evening.

Chelsea did the double over City last season with their 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium almost ten months ago proving to be a pivotal point in the campaign.

It was Chelsea’s eighth victory in a row while City had Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho sent off in stoppage time after an ill-tempered affair.

So far this term it has been City that have been making the headlines, playing scintillating football, scoring 21 goals in their first six top-flight games while conceding only two.

However, Aguero is set to miss the match after being injured in a car accident in Amsterdam, and his absence could be key even though the likes of Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling have been carving up defences at will.

Doubts persist about their defence which has not really been tested this season. Before Sadio Mane’s controversial dismissal and Liverpool’s eventual capitulation, the Reds had been causing City problems in the match between the two teams three weeks ago.

Nicolas Otamendi remains error-prone and John Stones could be found out when he comes up against Alvaro Morata.

Since losing at home to Burnley on the opening weekend, Chelsea have been compiling a good sequence of results themselves with the only blip being the goalless draw with Arsenal.

They are only three points behind City and are good enough to win this crunch battle by a one-goal margin at 3/1 in a match where the odds on both teams scoring are 2/3.

De Bruyne is a tempting 10/1 to score the first goal on Saturday while Michy Batshuayi, who grabbed Chelsea’s last-gasp winner at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, is 6/4 to score at any time against City.

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Mark Race Having worked in the media for nearly 30 years, Mark knows his sport inside out and at all levels. An avid football fan, Mark also has serious knowledge of the tennis world and is quick to point out value bets in a number of other sports.