City back at the summit
Chelsea still missing stars
Chelsea v Manchester City
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After mixed starts to the season, Chelsea and Manchester City go into Sunday's clash off the back of victories which caught the eye for different reasons.
City ended the weekend top of the Premier League table after crushing Bournemouth 6-1 despite losing Erling Haaland to a knock at half-time. Jérémy Doku was the star of the show with a goal and four assists, showing the reigning champions have plenty of facets to their game.
Chelsea also ended up comfortable victors, but the 4-1 scoreline in their win at Spurs was far from the whole story. Even so, a victory over a previously unbeaten side - and a first Premier League hat-trick for Nicolas Jackson - will reassure the Blues regardless of the fact that it came against nine men.
City on top
Manchester City are coming off a run of six straight victories over Chelsea in all competitions, without conceding a goal over the period. The last Blues player to find the net in this fixture was the recently-departed Kai Havertz, who scored the only goal of the game in the 2021 Champions League final.
In the league, City are coming off four successive 1-0 victories over the Blues, getting the better of Thomas Tuchel (twice), Graham Potter and Frank Lampard. Only one of the four different scorers in those games is in line to feature on Sunday - with Kevin De Bruyne injured and Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez sold, Julian Álvarez should feature and can look to add to the winner he scored in May,
More than 25 years have passed since Chelsea lost five or more Premier League games against one opponent, when Blackburn won seven on the spin. City are 3/4 to win on Sunday, with Álvarez 7/52.40 to score at any time.
Pochettino chasing a turnaround
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has taken time to get his team clicking, and they're yet to reach top gear as they welcome senior stars back from injury. The Argentine may feel he's still some way away from that point, with Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia among those still missing, and he has a tough recent record against City.
Pochettino won four of his first eight league games against City, while in charge of Southampton and Spurs, and knocked Guardiola's team out of the Champions League in 2019. None of his last six ended in victory, though that European triumph was followed by a 2-0 win for Pochettino's Paris Saint-Germain over City in the same competition in 2021.
Chelsea have won all three matches in the Carabao Cup this season, but their home form in the league has been less impressive. They have won just one of six, failing to score in three, and are 13/82.63 to draw a blank this weekend.
Chelsea v Manchester City prediction
City have won their last three away games against Chelsea, and not a single member of Chelsea's squad during their last home league victory over them in 2020 is still at the club (unused sub Reece James is the only member of the matchday squad still at Stamford Bridge). However, Raheem Sterling was part of the City team beaten in West London towards the end of the 2019-20 season and is set to line up for the opposite side on Sunday.
Sterling has nine goals and five assists in the league since joining the Blues at in the summer of 2022, though he has yet to log a home assist this season. The former City forward is 16/54.20 to score against his former club this weekend.
A lot may hinge on City's injury list this weekend, with Manuel Akanji and John Stones both suffering setbacks in midweek. Top scorer Haaland was fit to play and score twice, though, showing few ill effects from the weekend.
City have 61 wins from their last 68 games when scoring first, and will fancy their chances against Chelsea despite Monday's win for the Blues. We have our eye on the Bet Builder market, where City to win and keep a clean sheet and Haaland to score is available at just under 4/15.00.
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