Manchester City vs Chelsea Picks and Predictions: Fatigue Makes Cowards of Us All

Expect a highly conservative approach and low-scoring result when Chelsea and Manchester square off in their eagerly anticipated EPL Cup matchup.

Last Updated: Nov 8, 2022 8:22 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Manchester City star Haaland Erling EPL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Chelsea visit the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday for an EFL Cup matchup against eight-time champion Manchester City. 

These two clubs - and their managers - are trending in very different directions. Chelsea boss Graham Potter is on the hot seat with his club sitting outside of the European competitions spot in the Premier League.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, is sitting pretty. Since joining Man City in 2016, Guardiola has guided the storied franchise to 10 titles and always ensures his side puts forth its best effort when silverware is on the line.

Find out which team will come out on top in our Manchester City vs. Chelsea EFL Cup picks and predictions for Wednesday, November 9.

Manchester City vs Chelsea odds

Man City -200 Draw +370 Chelsea +500

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, November 7, 2022.

Manchester City vs Chelsea picks and predictions

Manchester City are second in the EPL table and are looking to hold onto that spot or even improve with just one league game left before the World Cup break. One thing I love about the Citizens is that they play to win every game.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are coming off a big loss to Arsenal where they were once again held scoreless. Chelsea only managed one shot on target for the entire game. Head coach Graham Potter simply hasn’t been able to get the best out of newly acquired Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has only managed three goals so far this season.

When handicapping this game, one key factor to consider is fatigue. Both teams are coming off two and three days’ rest respectively, and are playing a midweek game before returning to the pitch again the following weekend. Manchester City will be trying to remain near top of the league table, while Chelsea are fighting for a spot in the Top 5, which books a ticket into next year’s European competitions. Knowing how much is on the line, I believe both teams will take a conservative approach to this game as their focus will be on their upcoming league games instead.

Another critical factor is player motivation. This is a marquee matchup between two European juggernauts filled with talented players who will be playing in the World Cup in 11 days following this game. We’ve seen an uninspired and demotivated style of soccer in the last week and I believe this is a natural response for players looking to stay healthy. Top players like Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, and Alphonso Davies have all gotten injured in the past week, and no one on Chelsea or Man City wants to face the same fate.

We've seen time and time again that uninspired and conservative soccer leads to low-scoring affairs. Couple that with the fact four of the last five matchups between Manchester City and Chelsea have ended 1-0 and I have confidence this game will be a low scoring one too. I’m taking the Under all the way.

My best bet: Under 3.5 goals (-205 at DraftKings)

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Manchester City vs Chelsea side analysis

Manchester City are a perfect 8-0-0 at home this season in all competitions. They’ve dominated most home games including a difficult one this past weekend when they went down to 10 men after a Joao Cancelo red card in the 26th minute.

I don’t love the pproach either team brings to this game, but I definitely don’t see Manchester City losing. They’ve taken this competition seriously in the past, having won four out of the last five EFL Cups dating back to 2018. They also have Erling Haaland, who won’t be participating at the World Cup, so they will likely have best player for either team on the field.

Chelsea, on the other hand, have a mediocre 5-3-1 away record this season with only 11 goals scored in those nine games against much weaker opponents than Manchester City. They’ve been held goalless away from home by Leeds United, Dinamo Zagreb, and Brentford. Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling may not even make the starting lineup after logging heavy minutes against Arsenal and being needed for their important upcoming game versus Newscastle United.

I’m seeing a Manchester City win, but at -200 that’s a hefty price to pay. Instead, I would attack this from a different angle which would also correlate to Manchester City winning this game. I think Manchester City can win this game without putting our Under bet in jeopardy as we’ve seen in their recent head-to-head results. You can find Manchester City -1 and BTTS - NO at plus money.

Manchester City vs Chelsea Over/Under analysis

I don’t think we will see a lot of goals in this game. I locked my best bet in on Saturday at -116, and the odds fell to -132 as soon as the referee blew the end of the Chelsea vs. Arsenal game on Sunday. I still see value with this bet, but be sure to hop on it quickly before the odds get any steeper. The line movement is telling us that the Under opened way too soft and is now adjusting itself.

There is an interesting discrepancy between each team's expected goals per 90 minutes and the Over/Under lines for the game. Manchester City’s expected goals per 90 minutes this season is currently at 2.36, while Arsenal's clocks in at 2.13.

You’d expect two teams with those numbers wouldn't have an Over 3.5 line paying +140 on FanDuel. That’s a generous payout for two good scoring teams, and I believe this is due to the timing of this game with the recent heavy schedule and upcoming World Cup tournament.

Manchester City vs Chelsea game info

Location: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN+

Manchester City vs Chelsea key injuries

Man City: Erling Haaland (questionable), Kalvin Phillips (out), Kyle Walker (out), Joao Cancelo (suspended).
Chelsea: N’Golo Kante (out), Reece James (out), Wesley Fofana (out), Kepa Arrizabalaga (out), Ben Chilwell (out), Carney Chukwuemeka (out), Mateo Kovacic (questionable).

Manchester City vs Chelsea recent form

Teams Last five matches
Man City Manchester City W-D-W-W-W
Chelsea Chelsea D-W-L-W-L

Manchester City vs Chelsea weather

Dry conditions are expected in Manchester on Wednesday evening. Temperatures will be in the lower 50s, with an 11% chance of rain throughout the contest.

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