Blogs & Opinion


Ed Chamberlin thinks title could be Man City's if they conquer Chelsea

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 30th January 2014 view comments

The Premier League lead has changed hands 17 times this season, including eight times in the last six weeks, which is more than the previous two seasons put together.

It's likely to change again on Super Sunday but you sense this week that Manchester City are starting to turn the screw and the musical chairs at the top of the League could be about to stop.

Sky Bet shortened City to 8/11 from evens to win the title after another dominant performance against Spurs. Manuel Pellegrini has his team is irresistible form. The pace of their attacking play on Wednesday night was mesmerising at times.

David Silva is displaying his qualities for record-chasing City, says Ed

David Silva is displaying his qualities for record-chasing City, says Ed

David Silva seems back to his brilliant best and back pulling the strings behind their prolific collection of strikers. Right now City seem relentless and remorseless, as Spurs and West Ham have recently found out. Next up: Jose and Chelsea on Monday Night Football.

City can equal a club record set in 1912 with a run of nine successive League wins and set a new club record run of 21 games unbeaten in all competitions.

City's forwards have contributed 32 Premier League goals compared to just 11 by Chelsea's strikers this season.

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

'Do not lose to your rivals'. That seems to be Jose Mourinho's mantra. He's forced stalemates at Old Trafford and the Emirates this season and Chelsea are the only unbeaten team this season in meetings between current top four teams - but how does he stop the free flowing, goalscoring machine that is Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City?

Maybe he'll have to adopt some '19th century' tactics. City are rampant. Their staggering goals tally is up to 115 and they've won eight straight Premier League games, scoring 27 goals in the process.

At home they've won all 11 Premier League home games this season - the only 100 per cent home record in all four English League divisions - and have won last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea at the Etihad, scoring seven goals and conceding two.

Contrast

City are a 5/6 chance with Sky Bet to make that five in a row with Chelsea a 16/5 chance.

Goals are the biggest contrast between these two sides, particularly between their strikers with City's forwards contributing 32 Premier League goals compared to just 11 by Chelsea's strikers this season.

Add to Man City's armoury the top-scoring midfielder in the League this season, 12-goal Yaya Toure, and you have a red-hot goalscoring unit.

Yet, despite all of these one-sided stats, only three points separate the two sides in the Premier League table and Chelsea are still only an 11/4 chance with Sky Bet to win the league. They have the Premier League's best defence and are unbeaten in eight, taking 20 points from the last 24 available.

You can put a line through the goalless draw against West Ham and put it down as a freak because Chelsea had 39 attempts on goal - the most by a team without scoring in a Premier League game since Opta began.

This a full on heavyweight clash between the two favourites to win the Premier League title. I hope you can join Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville and myself at 7pm on Sky Sports 1 for Manchester City v Chelsea on Monday Night Football.

Before Monday night's game Arsenal have the chance to go back to the top for the seventh time this season at home to Crystal Palace on Super Sunday.

Arsene Wenger's side have been top for 122 of the 169 days but again people are questioning whether cracks are starting to emerge.

I was at St Mary's on Tuesday night, where Arsenal were fortunate to come away with a point. However, a point is a decent result at St Mary's these days.

Fascinating

This is a team that's been written off on so many occasions this season and has so far they have come up with all the answers.

However, injuries and suspensions mean Arsenal's resources are going to be stretched over the next few weeks with Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich looming large in the horizon.

It will be fascinating to see if Arsene Wenger acts on Friday and pulls off another Deadline Day, morale boosting coup just as he did on September 2, 2013.

It won't be easy for the Gunners on Sunday. This is Crystal Palace's first ever visit to the Emirates - the last meeting at Arsenal was a 5-1 Arsenal win in February 2005 and Palace's only ever League win at Arsenal was 2-1 win at Highbury in October 1994 - and they arrive in buoyant mood.

Palace's revival has been one of the stories of the season. Only a few weeks ago they looked set to be cut adrift at the bottom of the table and were long odds on for relegation. Now they are 14th and for the first time this season are not Sky Bet's favourites to be relegated.

Fulham now have that unwelcome berth at 8/11, with Cardiff a 10/11 chance to go down and Palace odds against for the first time at 11/10.

The bottom half of the table and battle to avoid relegation remains a minefield.

Crystal Palace's revival stems back to the game with Arsenal in October. The game came after the departure of Ian Holloway and Arsenal won it 2-0, but Palace were much improved and much harder to beat that day and it served as a platform to go on this extraordinary turnaround that has taken them out of the bottom three.

Palace have won their last two Premier League games and on Sunday bid to win three in a row for the first time in the top flight since 1994. The good work was started under Keith Millen and has been carried on by Tony Pulis.

Palace have won 16 points from the 11 games under Pulis, having won only seven points from opening 12. In that time they've only conceded 10 goals after letting in 21 in the opening 12 games. Arsenal are up against a very different Crystal Palace, who will be hard to break down.

The Gunners might go back to the top of the League on Sunday but if Manchester City go top on the Monday Night Football you wonder if that might the 19th and final time the lead swaps hands

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Napoli in Marouane Fellaini link, Arsenal sign Calum Chambers from Southampton and Harry Redknapp stunned as Loic Remy deal falls through.

Shaw told to shape up

Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has ordered Luke Shaw to train alone because he is not fit enough.

Sturridge: We're moving on

Daniel Sturridge believes Liverpool have the squad to handle Luis Suarez's exit and will challenge for top honours.

LVG: No rush to buy players

New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal insists he will not buy players just for the sake of it.

Collins: Huge step up for Celtic

John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a huge threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Features

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

The top value signings of the summer might not necessarily involve the best players. Clearly, James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez are a cut above anyone recently recruited by Real Sociedad.

Didier Drogba's return to Chelsea is a sentimental one but the striker can still make an impact on and off the pitch

Didier Drogba's return to Chelsea is a sentimental one but the striker can still make an impact on and off the pitch

“It was an easy decision - I couldn't turn down the opportunity to work with Jose again. Everyone knows the special relationship I have with this club and it has always felt like home to me.”