Paul Merson is expecting Chelsea to lose when they play Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.
The Citizens were by far the better side in the first league fixture between the two teams earlier in the season and Merson can’t see Thomas Tuchel’s side getting any more joy this time around:
“If Chelsea don’t win, they are out of the Premier League title race. Saying that in mid-January is not a good thing for them, but it’s the reality of the situation. This is a massive game, but if you look at the table, Manchester City could probably lose this one and still go on to win the title. Pep Guardiola’s side blew Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge even though the scoreline was only 1-0. That just goes to show how good Manchester City have been this season and I think they will get another victory.”
Merson has gone with a 2-1 victory to City, which is a prediction that many would probably go along with, considering the fact that the home side go into this match ten points above the Blues in the table.
As Merson says, though, this is a match that Pep Guardiola’s side could afford to drop points in and still finish top. For that reason, you would like to think that Chelsea’s stronger desire will help them secure a vital result.
The players know this is an all-or-nothing game and in that sense, they have nothing to lose. They were too timid and defensive in the game at Stamford Bridge and hopefully they go with a much braver approach today.