Will Mourinho eat his words and park the Chelsea bus at Man City?
Jose Mourinho was very critical of “19th-century” West Ham against his side on Wednesday night, in a match where Chelsea’s 39 shots were not enough to find the net.
Is there, however, a hint of hypocrisy in his comments ahead of Monday’s away fixture at Manchester City? And are the odds of 5/2 the safest bet for a draw?
Against the so-called top sides in the league away from home this season so far, Chelsea have yet to win, and rarely do they score more than one goal. Odds of a Chelsea victory are at 10/3, in comparison with a City win at 5/6.
A 0-0 draw against Manchester United and a very defensive performance three games into the season seemed to set the tone of Mourinho’s away-game mentality in particular for the rest of this term.
Later in the season, draws against Spurs (1-1) at the end of September and Arsenal (0-0) over a month ago also failed to provide travelling fans a showcase of Chelsea’s attacking prowess.
City, on the other hand, can’t stop scoring at home this season, with 42 goals and victories in all 11 matches at the Etihad so far in the league.
With the news that main goalscoring threat Sergio Aguero is out for a month with a hamstring injury, will Mourinho alter his tactics to try and grab a win to draw level on points with City? At 16/1, an away 1-0 victory looks a good bet.
Chelsea are just three points off leaders City and two behind Arsenal, so perhaps they can afford to play out a bore draw again having won the reverse tie 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in October.
Amazingly the odds of a goalless draw are 12/1, which is likely to be a very popular bet as Coral are offering the best price on this eventuality.
There is still the imposing statistic that City have scored in every home match in the league so far this season, including a whopping 35 goals in January alone in all competitions.
Big wins for Manuel Pellegrini’s side include the 4-0 victory over Newcastle United, the 4-1 dominant display over former title rivals Manchester United, the magnificent 7-0 score against Norwich and the more recent 6-3 thriller against Arsenal.
The Sky Blues enter the match having won four and drawn once in their last six matches against Chelsea, so a highly probable score of a 1-0 home win may be the best bet with odds at 8/1.