Referees. The fixture list. The pitch. The fans. The press. And now Chelsea’s first team doctor Eva Carneiro.
Jose Mourinho’s list of people to blame for bad results gets longer each week, and still manages to dodge the fact that at times against Swansea, Chelsea’s defence looked ropier then a sailor’s knot collection. Luckily however, the stats suggest that The Special One won’t have to dip into his cupboard of smoke and mirrors this weekend, because the trends are right behind a good result for Chelsea as they head to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.
While Chelsea’s style of football against fellow top four opposition is about as entertaining as watching a wheelie bin full of puppies rolled down a cliff, you can’t argue with the results. Since returning to the Premier League in 2013, Mourinho is undefeated against top four opposition, winning seven and drawing five of the 12 games.
Manchester City’s record against the current reigning Champions also makes for tough viewing. In 10 Premier League games against Mourinho’s Chelsea, City have won just the once – a Nicolas Anelka penalty separating the two sides in October 2004 during The Special One’s first season at the helm. That City side featured such Premier League legends as Danny Mills, Shaun Wright-Philips and Sylvain Distin. Almost 11 years later, and despite having Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Vincent Kompany in their ranks, Manchester City have been unable to defeat Mourinho’s Chelsea in nine league clashes.
Despite the stats, our PP traders have got Manchester City as the 23/20 favourites for Sunday’s heavyweight clash. Chelsea are 23/10, with the draw at 12/5 but you can’t help feel that’s a knee-jerk reaction to the weekend’s games. West Brom were abysmal against Manchester City, and while Yaya Toure was given enough room to set up a dairy farm in the middle of the pitch, he’s unlikely to get the same freedom against a disciplined Mourinho side. Likewise, while Chelsea didn’t steamroll Swansea as everyone predicted, it’d be surprising if their defence is as shaky as it was on Saturday night.
With the stats in mind the obvious punt looks like Chelsea or draw at 4/6, but the odds are skinnier than a supermodel buckling to media pressure. Similarly it’s 4/5 for there to be under 2.5 goals – nine of Mourinho’s 12 games against the top four since August 2013 have been under the 2.5 line.
If you’re looking for a bit more bang for your buck though, the 1-1 draw looks worth a play at 11/2, while Chelsea to win 1-0 might be worth a dabble at 10/1. Man City might be favourites for all three points, but it would take a seriously impressive performance to put a stop to Jose Mourinho’s beastly record.