Even at this undercooked stage of the Premier League season Manchester City’s clash with Chelsea has massive psychological implications on the title race.
With the darker Blues starting in such imperious fashion and the lighter variety stuttering somewhat, a win for Jose Mourinho’s side at the Etihad will stretch the gap to eight points, a yawning chasm even at this early juncture.
It promises to be a feisty affair, but judging from our Chelsea-dominated mixed XI picked from available players on either side, that 2/1-rated away victory which they managed to pull off last season doesn’t feel hugely unlikely.
In a break from the norm we’ll start our rundown from the front where Diego Costa gets the nod over Sergio Aguero in our 4-2-3-1 formation simply because he’s off the chart at present.
Ideally, we’d have started both, but trying to squeeze the plethora of midfield talent into the side is harder than forcing an elephant into a phone box, African or Indian.
This gives the illusive David Silva licence to pick locks from behind his naturalised countryman, while Oscar misses out on the number 10 role, having gone seriously off the boil compared to his first season.
After that, the spine of this side belongs almost exclusively to the Premier League leaders over the title holders.
The burgeoning partnership between Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic cannot be broken up, as Yaya Toure has misplaced his mojo, Fernando is injured and Fernandinho is also someway off his superlative 2013/14 best.
Behind this duo are Gary Cahill, preferred to John Terry and Thibaut Courtois between the sticks, who is preferred to Joe Hart after impressing in his early appearances.
City do earn some credibility back with man mountain Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy taking up the left-side of defence, while the lighting heels of Jesus Navas occupy the right-forward slot.
Few are more capable suppliers of ammo than the former Sevilla winger from out wide.
Eden Hazard completes the line-up on the left to make it a resounding 7-4 victory for the Londoners.
Incidentally that scoreline is only available on request in the correct score market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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