Carabao Cup specialists come to the party
Manchester City take on Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.
It will be the first time that Graham Potter has met Pep Guardiola in charge of the Blues, and in that an opportunity to earn some praise from the Chelsea supporter base, a group that will not be wholly convinced by the appointment so far, given the legendary status that Thomas Tuchel had at the club.
City have won four of the last five Carabao Cups, losing their title last term, when Liverpool beat the Blues on penalties in the final.
City are rightfully heavy favourites, and they have an easier game in the Premier League approaching at the weekend, suggesting that team strength-wise they can prioritise this fixture a little more than the visitors.
Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker remain sidelined for the hosts, the latter has a small chance of returning to fitness in time for the World Cup, while Phillips is a longer term absentee.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Ben Chilwell, Carney Chukwuemeka, Wesley Fofana, Reece James and N’Golo Kante are all ruled out for Chelsea, somewhat pointing towards why it has been a difficult start for Potter in West London.
It is very hard to deny Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium against any team in the world, such is their class under Guardiola and the gap between them and the rest of the sides in the division this term.
A pro-City play combined with an unders selection would typically entice me in terms of looking for an angle into the encounter, however, the nature of the competition could lead this one towards goals a little more.
There is less to lose for Chelsea in particular as outsiders, and Potter may look to throw more at City, sacrificing their defensive shape a touch in aiming to take the game to the hosts.
I will not be getting involved with the goal lines for this fixture, but there are still numbers worth looking into when considering having a bet.
City have scored in seven of ten.
City have conceded in five of ten.
City have seen both teams score in four of ten.
City have seen over 2.5 goals in six of ten.
Chelsea have scored in eight of ten.
Chelsea have conceded in five of ten.
Chelsea have seen both teams score in four of ten.
Chelsea have seen over 2.5 goals in five of ten.