After sapping the morale of three of their top-four rivals already this term with away draws, Chelsea can snatch another point at the Etihad at 13/5 and end Manchester City’s hopes of a first perfect home record over a top-flight season for 122 years.
Sunderland’s feat in 1892 hasn’t been emulated since, but 11 straight home wins for Manuel Pellegrini’s 8/13 title favourites have them whispering of an historic repeat on the terraces in the blue half of Manchester.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho will find stopping the hosts scoring – as his team did on trips to Man Utd and Arsenal earlier this season – a thankless task, as City haven’t been shut out on their own patch for over two years and average four goals a game at home this term.
However, Chelsea are one of only four English sides who have beaten Pellegrini’s men in 2013/14 and the Special One has an excellent record against both the Chilean and his current employers down the years.
Mourinho’s faced off against the 60-year-old eight times as a coach and won on six occasions, while the same number of the Portuguese’s nine matches against City have seen him triumph.
The hosts have shown during their four-pronged quest for silverware that they possess one of the best squads in Europe, but the loss of 26-goal striker Sergio Aguero would be a blow to any team under any circumstances, alongside Samir Nasri’s continued absence.
Alvaro Negredo was given a complete rest during the 5-1 ritual thrashing of Spurs and is surely nailed-on at 6/5 to score his 18th goal at the Etihad since moving to England last summer.
Blues top-scorer Eden Hazard stated in midweek that he wants to become the best player in the world and while nine league goals and five assists so far this term suggests the Belgian is well on his way to the top, a goal at Fortress Etihad at 10/3 would indicate he has the mentality, as well as the guile, to succeed.