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Chelsea vs. Manchester City Sunday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: (Jan. 3)

Chelsea vs. Manchester City Sunday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: (Jan. 3) article feature image

Michael Regan/Getty Images. Pictured: Frank Lampard (left) and Pep Guardiola.

  • Premier League juggernauts Chelsea and Manchester City face off Sunday in Premier League action at Stamford Bridge.
  • The Blues will be boosted by the return of playmaker Hakim Ziyech against the Cityzens, who have been struggling on offense.
  • Anthony Dabbundo gives his in-depth analysis of the match and explains why he's backing the Blues below..

Chelsea vs. Manchester City Odds

Chelsea Odds +215 [BET NOW]
Manchester City Odds +118 [BET NOW]
Draw +265 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 2.5 (-137/+112) [BET NOW]
Time 11:30 a.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

Two of the three preseason Premier League favorites meet on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, having both underachieved expectations at this point in the season.

While Manchester City’s attack has underwhelmed, Chelsea have dropped off to the tune of just one win in five matches.

Will either side get its season going on Sunday? Let’s dig in to find out.

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One of the main storylines of the 2020-21 Premier League season is the offensive dropoff for the Cityzens. After scoring 102 goals last season, Manchester City have just 21 goals in 14 matches so far this year. Without a healthy and recognized striker, their shots per match is down from first in the league in the last three seasons to third in this campaign.

Gabriel Jesus was poised for a breakout season after his expected goals (xG) numbers improved steadily during the restart over the summer. He’s out on Sunday. Sergio Aguero hasn’t been healthy most of the season and while he is available for this match, he is unlikely to start.

City are attacking with fewer players to improve their defensive solidity and it’s worked defensively. They rank first in expected goals against (xGA) in the league and have kept eight clean sheets in their last 10 matches.

Kyle Walker, Ederson and Ferran Torres are also unlikely to play in this match, and it’s not entirely clear the extent of the COVID-19 issues will be for the Cityzens. Pay close attention to the lineup news throughout the morning because this line is likely to move if more City players are out.

Manchester City

Chelsea’s dip in form coincided with an injury to their most important offensive creative player thus far this year: Hakim Ziyech.

At 0.44 expected assists (xA) per 90 minutes, Ziyech has been one of the league’s best creators and is expected to start on Sunday for the Blues. Chelsea have won four of the five matches that Ziyech started, drawing the other. Without Ziyech, the Blues have won three of their 11 matches in the Premier League.

There’s a narrative developing about Chelsea, who are currently eighth in the Premier League and have struggled to grind out results when they haven’t been particularly sharp. However, long term, xG numbers suggest the Blues are fine, ranking fourth in xG difference per 90 behind Aston Villa, City and Liverpool.

One of Chelsea’s biggest issues has been fitting all of their attacking talent onto the pitch to work well.

They’ve shunted Timo Werner to the wing and he’s struggled with finishing, but with chance creation, he’s been fine. Insert Ziyech in off the right, and the Blues have an ability to hit City on the counter unlike many of their opponents in recent weeks.

Betting Analysis & Pick

I make these teams about even at Stamford Bridge after making a small adjustment for home-field advantage. I have Chelsea +103 on the draw no bet line, and thus will make a small buy-low play on the Blues with Ziyech returning.

Given Manchester City’s COVID-19 issues, they could be without multiple starters and the line may move toward Chelsea. Also, the Blues’ impressive defensive numbers should also stifle a mediocre City attack.

Pick: Chelsea — Draw No Bet (+135). Play at +120 or better.

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