Saturday’s Premier League fixture list starts with a bang, as table-topping Manchester City take on the team in second, Chelsea, at the Etihad Stadium.
The fixture has a do-or-die feel for Chelsea, who are ten points behind the leaders and in desperate need of a victory, and arrive having not tasted defeat in any of their last six Premier League matches. However, four draws means they have lost pace in the title race to a team that has reeled off 11 successive Premier League victories since the end of October.
Chelsea may have won last season’s Champions League final between the two sides, but they were distinctly second best in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge in September and we expect City to come out on top again this afternoon.
Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in his last four appearances after regaining his place in the City side, and we’ll take a punt that he opens the scoring today.
The evening game sees Aston Villa hosting Manchester United, looking for revenge after being knocked out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Monday.
Villa lost the cup game 1-0, but were unlucky to do so. They must feel confident to overturning their more illustrious rivals with a home crowd cheering them on, particularly with new signings Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho set to give their squad a boost.
United were as woeful on Monday as they had been in a 1-0 home league defeat at the hands of Wolves the week before and it would only be the most loyal supporter who could side with them at the minute.
Coutinho is expected to start this evening, and given his undoubted talent is likely to be given free-kick duties. He scored 19 goals from outside the area in the Premier League during his time at Liverpool, and we’ll take a punt that he makes a fairy tale start by landing another one today.
Man City/Chelsea: Sterling to score first, 1 pt, at 13/2, SkyBet
Villa/Man Utd: Coutinho to score from outside the area, 1 pt, at 12/1, SkyBet