The Premier League title race is already beginning to look intriguing and Saturday’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester City could be an opportunity for either side to make a statement.
Pep Guardiola’s champions will know the importance of avoiding defeat after they could only draw at home to Southampton last time out.
That result left them three points behind early pacesetters Chelsea, who sit above Liverpool and Manchester United on goal difference.
The Blues have caught the eye five games in, easily seeing off Tottenham with a 3-0 victory last weekend and looking assured throughout what many assumed to be a tough opening run of fixtures. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that Betfair make Thomas Tuchel’s team 17/10 favourites to take all three points on Saturday.
But it’s likely to be a game of fine margins, with City far from underdogs at 7/4 and a draw priced at 21/10.
Romelu Lukaku has looked almost unstoppable since his return to Chelsea, so those expecting the Belgian to score the game’s first goal can back him at odds of 7/2.
Gabriel Jesus, meanwhile, is 15/2 to net first for the visitors, while Jack Grealish is 16/1 to score from outside the box after his stunning strike in last week’s Champions League win over RB Leipzig.
Twenty-two Premier League goals have been scored between the teams so far this season, though both have only conceded once. A stalemate seems unlikely but both teams to score is currently priced at 4/5.
Kevin De Bruyne is 18/1 to score and assist a goal having made a slow start to the season as he recovers from injury. Kai Havertz has had no such problems, and he and Phil Foden are 11/4 to have one or more shots on target each.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “Chelsea’s early season form has been formidable and they are now closing in on Manchester City as the favourites to win the title.
“The Blues are 15/8 in the outright market, just behind City at 13/8. That gap is closing, though, and Chelsea could become the frontrunners if they win convincingly on Saturday.
“The hosts are 17/10 to win and move six points clear of their title rivals, who are the slight outsiders at Stamford Bridge with odds of 7/4 to replicate last season’s victory.”
Chelsea vs Manchester City odds
Manchester City: 7/4
Romelu Lukaku: 7/2
Gabriel Jesus: 6/1
Ferran Torres: 13/2
Timo Werner: 7/1
Kai Havertz: 7/1
Raheem Sterling: 15/2
Riyad Mahrez: 15/2
Christian Pulisic: 15/2
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