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City need to be smart against top of the league Chelsea

Manchester City have been naive at times this season. Despite this, they are still slight favourites at 6/4 with Coral to beat high flying Chelsea, who are 19/20.

Blues boss Jose Mourinho has said he is going to start star striker Diego Costa, however the Brazilian-born Spain international has been struggling with a hamstring injury. Seven goals in four Premier League appearances isn’t exactly a shabby start to life in his new surroundings, and at 5/1 to score first at the Etihad, City would be foolish not to apply a more physical side, within the footballing laws.

No doubt a manager of Mourinho’s ilk will know that Costa could be target for City captain Vincent Kompany, who does, on his game, have that cunning, nasty streak. So, by that consideration, is the ‘Special One’ up to his old tricks, and playing mind games, making out Costa to be worse than he actually is? The answer is certainly intriguing, surely the striker wouldn’t be risked in a match of this magnitude, against a centre back of Kompany’s cleverness if he wasn’t at least 90 per cent fit.

Cesc Fabregas scored his first Chelsea goal against Wolfsburg, after six assists in the Premier League already this term, and is 7/2 to net anytime. The Spaniard’s link-up play with Belgian sensation Eden Hazard is starting to flourish, with the two schemers gradually starting to get onto the same wavelength, and the latter has odds of 8/1 to open the scoring.

However, Chelsea did the double over Manuel Pellegrini’s men last season, and the Chilean boss will be keen to put that right. It was Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic that grabbed the solitary goal last season at the Etihad with a superb solo effort, and is 7/1 to slot past Joe Hart at any point in the game.

City, meanwhile sit in fifth place on seven points, though beating a resurgent Blues side, could really lay down a marker, and revitalise their season. Sergio Aguero is rediscovering his best form, after being sidelined with injury for a period earlier in the year, and having hit three goals in four Premier League appearances, added to scoring at Stamford Bridge last term, he is 5/1 to break the deadlock.

As such prodigious forward talents are on display here, punters should take advantage of enhanced odds of 11/2 on Costa and Aguero both scoring in this encounter. Note that there is a maximum stake of £20 you can put on this Coral matchday special.

Right back Pablo Zabaleta could return to the starting line-up after serving a one match European ban, though Fernando, and Stevan Jovetic remain sidelined.

Frank Lampard could have a part to play for City, after a sensational switch north having being released by Chelsea at the end of last term, albeit via a trip to America to sign for City’s new franchise club, New York City. He made 648 appearances for the west London club, and is 7/2 to come back and haunt them, by scoring anytime.

Martin Demichelis got caught out in the same fixture last season, however Pellegrini played the Argentinian in a defensive midfield role, and Chelsea’s midfielders danced around him. He has had a respectable start to the new campaign, featuring in the heart of defence, also picking up a goal. Demichelis is 12/1 to beat Chelsea’s goalkeeper, expected to be Thibaut Courtois, on any occasion.