Chelsea’s visit to Manchester City is being billed as the game of the season so far in the Premier League and master tactician Jose Mourinho will be straining every sinew in the away dugout to ensure his side avoid defeat, which can be backed at 1/1 in the double-chance market.
While the Blues’ home draw against West Ham was a setback, losing at the Etihad would be a potentially fatal blow to their title chances as City, who already look best-placed to re-gain the title at 1/2, would sprint six points ahead of the 4/1 second-favourites.
The Mourinho touch hasn’t worked particularly well on the road this season, as his side have slipped up at Everton, Newcastle and Stoke, but the Portuguese has managed to squeeze points out of games at Old Trafford, the Emirates and White Hart Lane and will no doubt play for a draw again at the Etihad.
Germany international Andre Schurrle appeared in all six of the aforementioned matches, starting against Man Utd, Everton and Stoke, but the 23-year-old’s best moment in a Chelsea shirt so far was against the Citizens at Stamford Bridge, when he guided home the opener after 33 minutes.
The Special One’s used the Ludwigshafen native sparingly since his £18m move from Bayer Leverkusen last summer, but he has turned out for Chelsea 24 times so far and 15 of those appearances were made on the road.
The odds are shorter on Schurrle to score last, at 12/1, than the 14/1 on offer about him breaking the deadlock for the second game against City in a row, but with Mourinho likely to counter the hosts’ rampant attack with all-action defensive solidity, the 30-cap Die Mannschaft star could be in line for a start at the Etihad.
It looks between the former Bayer Leverkusen man and Willian for the third spot behind the striker in the Chelsea starting line-up, alongside Eden Hazard and Oscar.
The Brazil winger has looked fair value at £32m since arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk, but Mourinho has shown faith in Schurrle in big games already this term and he gets the tentative nod to strike first at a decent price.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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