Football tips: Jesus the key in this Man City v Chelsea 21/1 Bet Builder

Our tipster Shane O'Brien fancies another win for City in the battle of the Blues.

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Manchester City snapped a three-game losing streak against Chelsea with a comprehensive 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in September in a game that helped the champions lay down a marker for the season ahead.

That meeting in west London had the feeling of a six-pointer in the title race as Liverpool, Chelsea, and City went toe-to-toe in the early days of the season.

Manchester City v Chelsea – Saturday, January 15: 12.30pm
BT Sport 1

The reverse fixture, on the other hand, has the feel of a must-win game for Chelsea if they want to keep their dwindling title hopes alive.

City have gone from strength to strength since that win at Stamford Bridge, winning 13 of their last 15 Premier League games and each of their last 11. They have pulled clear in the title race, stretching 10 points clear of Chelsea and 11 clear of Liverpool, who have a game in hand.


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Manchester City to win

Man City’s superior resources have seen them weather the Covid storm like no other club has been able to and they should have little problems taking care of Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have drawn their last two league games and won just two of their last seven in a patchy run of form that has seen their title hopes all but evaporate.

Chelsea have shown encouraging signs at the start of 2022, progressing to the League Cup final with relative ease and fighting back from two goals down to salvage a draw against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

Their positive start to the year is likely to come to an end on Saturday against a City juggernaut, however.

Both teams to score

City and Chelsea boast the best and third-best defences in the league respectively, but neither have exactly been convincing at the back in recent games.

City looked vulnerable defensively in their New Year’s Day clash with Arsenal and conceded at Swindon in their FA Cup third-round tie despite starting a formidable back four that included Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have kept one clean sheet in their last nine league games and conceded a late consolation against non-league Chesterfield in their FA Cup tie last weekend.

Chelsea did manage to keep clean sheets in both legs of their League Cup semi-final against Tottenham, but the defensive solidity that formed the foundations of Tuchel’s early success at the club seems to have deserted them. City have scored 19 goals in their last five home league games and are likely to add to that tally on Saturday afternoon.


Gabriel Jesus anytime assist

Gabriel Jesus is currently on course to record his worst goalscoring season since arriving at Manchester City with just two league goals to his name after 17 appearances, but the Brazilian forward has emerged as City’s most creative player as they devour all in their path.

Jesus has registered seven assists in 17 appearances this season, the most of any City player.

He averages 1.5 key passes per game in the league this season and could be the one to break down what will be a rigid Chelsea defence.

It was his goal that separated the sides back in September, but it could be his newfound creativity that helps make the difference on Saturday.

Under 3.5 cards

Neither City nor Chelsea have been particularly dirty this season, with City collecting just 31 cards in 21 league games and Chelsea picking up 34 in the same number of games.

City have picked up just 12 bookings in their last 10 league games and have only picked up more than two bookings in the same game once since the end of October. They are so much better than everyone else at the moment that they rarely need to make cynical, goal-stopping fouls, while there should be no chance of any City player lashing out in frustration.

Likewise, Chelsea have picked up more than two yellow cards in the same game on one occasion in their last 11 games in all competitions – in a 1-1 with Brighton just after Christmas. They have just played two semi-finals against one of their closest rivals and picked up just one card across the two games.

Tuchel’s side may be 12th in the league’s disciplinary table, but they are unlikely to rack up too many bookings on Saturday.

Man City v Chelsea Bet Builder tips

Manchester City to win
Both teams to score
Gabriel Jesus anytime assist
Under 3.5 cards

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