Chelsea host Hull and Manchester City travel to Leicester
With Manchester City (11/4 to win the Premier League) buoyed by their dramatic midweek Champions League win in Rome, Manuel Pellegrini turns his attention back to chasing Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s men came unstuck at their bogey ground in Newcastle last time out, but must bounce back quickly if they are to stay three points clear of their title rivals.
Chelsea v Hull City
The Blues have never lost to Hull in the Premier League and haven’t tasted defeat against the Tigers since 1989, making them odds-on favourites to triumph at 2/11.
Chelsea put two past Steve Bruce’s side with no reply in both battles between the two teams last term and are 9/2 to see that scoreline repeated. Mourinho will not be expecting Hull’s visit to Stamford Bridge to be a walk in the park, however.
The league leaders lost a 23-game unbeaten streak in Newcastle last time out and need to get back to winning ways if they are to stay ahead of City. This duel is of as much importance to Bruce’s boys, though, after a draw with West Bromwich Albion saw them slip into the relegation zone.
Travelling Tigers are 13/2 to cause an upset and steal a draw, with Hull desperately needing to pick up points after a dismal eight-game streak without a win.
Chelsea, by comparison, are still unbeaten at Stamford Bridge, where no team has, as of yet, been able to shut them out this season.
Attacking orchestrator Cesc Fabregas is suspended for this encounter, but Mourinho will welcome Serbian midfield shield Nemanja Matic back into the fold. The excellent anchorman was much missed at St James’ Park and stability should return with him.
Electric Eden Hazard struck first the last time these two sides met, and is 4/1 to open the scoring again, whilst formidable frontman Diego Costa is 2/1 to dazzle Stamford Bridge by bagging a brace or better.
Leicester City v Manchester City
The Foxes are looking threadbare ahead of City’s journey to the King Power Stadium, with Sky Blues academy product Kasper Schmeichel ruled out of a reunion after suffering a broken metatarsal.
Richie De Laet and Matthew Upson face late fitness tests, but top scorer Leonardo Ulloa, 11/4 to net anytime, should be ready to face the Sky Blues.
The Argentine attacker finally overcame his goal drought last time out, and is Leicester’s best chance of breaching Pellegrini’s backline.
City are understandably odds-on favourites a 1/2 to swoop to a seventh win in a row across all competitions, despite the continued absence of Sergio Aguero.
The Sky Blues will be hoping Edin Dzeko is less rusty than he was against Roma, as the Bosnian frontman will carry the goal burden in Aguero’s absence.
After bagging a brace last time City clashed with Leicester, dangerous Dzeko is 3/1 to score two or more again.
Meanwhile, midfield magician David Silva (5/4 to be on target anytime) and captain Vincent Kompany (7/1) should also be set to return to the starting XI.