Chelsea v Man City: Back the Blues to strike early at the Bridge

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It’s being mooted as one of the biggest games this season, and it is easy to see why.

Should Manchester City taste defeat at Stamford Bridge this weekend, they will have an eight point gap to bridge, and with Chelsea already 2/11 jollies to lift the Premier League title, a comeback from that position looks highly unlikely.

The one positive they can bring into this that their London opponents enter this match on the back of grinding out 120 minutes in the Capital One Cup, albeit going on to victory.

However, with the Citizens losing their last two in all competitions, we are predicting the title race to be as good as sewn up at 7:30pm on Saturday, with our three best bets reflecting this.

Chelsea to win the first half to nil @ 2/1

At home, no one has got near Chelsea in the opening 45 minutes of matches in the Premier League this season.

Only Swansea have breached the goal in the opening period in west London, with Chelsea leading to nil at the break in eight of their 10 league matches at the Bridge this season.

They have gone on to keep a clean sheet in the same number of games on their own patch and with Manchester City failing to score in their last two competitive fixtures, this looks a nice price.

Second half to produce the most goals @ 11/10

One thing that has become a current occurrence between these sides in recent years is that the main bulk of the action has come late.

Their last 10 Premier League encounters have seen the second half has outscored the first on seven occasions, with a total of 18 goals in the latter period compared to eight in the opening 45 minutes.

And with this tie potentially having huge connotations in the title race, we are not expecting much of a gung-ho approach in the early stages.

Oscar to score anytime @ 9/4

Eden Hazard may have been our goalscorer of choice to tip up in most matches at Stamford Bridge this season, but having drawn a blank in the last two Premier League matches, we are switching focus.

With three goals in his last two Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge the Brazilian is capable of impromptu moments of brilliance and with this game likely to be finely poised, he could be the man to deliver the goods.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.