The final round of midweek fixtures before the winter break for the World Cup sees the third round of the Carabao Cup third round take place. The standout fixture of the set of games takes place at the Etihad Stadium as Graham Potter’s Chelsea travel to Manchester City on Wednesday night in his first domestic cup match for the club. Manchester City come into this one on the back of a last gasp victory against Fulham at the weekend due to a Haaland penalty whereas Chelsea come into this one on the back of a 1-0 home defeat to the country’s form side and London rivals – Arsenal.
Manchester City have been just as impressive as usual this season and although they have not been pushed by Liverpool yet, a new challenger has appeared – Arsenal. Arsenal are showing little sign of letting up and continue to win in Europe and in the league and so Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will be both delighted and relieved at the win against the Cottagers on Saturday afternoon. No one will be more grateful for Haaland’s late goal than Joao Cancelo who got sent off and conceded a penalty at 1-0 up and will therefore be suspended for this game. An away defeat to Liverpool remains their only loss of the season and they will be hoping for a straightforward victory here. Pep Guardiola will be hoping to get his hands back on the trophy having lost it to Liverpool last season, ending his run of four consecutive successes in the competition. However, given Cancelo’s suspension for this game, the Spaniard does have a headache – already without Kyle Walker. Likely to come into the side is Rico Lewis, who scored in the Champions League last week, as well as a few other players such as Sergio Gomez and Stefan Ortega who should start here. However, given the strength of Manchester City’s squad, a strong lineup can still be expected here.
Chelsea were last season’s Carabao Cup runners up as they lost on penalties to Liverpool. However, they’ve been given the toughest possible game as they try to better this result. Manager Graham Potter has been under pressure ever since he got the job as he was not a traditional big name that Chelsea usually go for and was replacing a well-liked manager in Thomas Tuchel. He started fantastically, with five wins in his first six as well as a run of five consecutive clean sheets, however they’ve looked poorer in recent weeks. Despite topping their Champions League group, they’re winless in four in the Premier League, which has included a 0-0 at Brentford, a 4-1 thrashing by Potter’s old side Brighton and a 1-0 loss at home on the weekend to a big rival. The pressure might be starting to build on Potter, especially from his critics that were not keen on the appointment in the first place, but a win here and a cup run would go a long way to silencing some of these. However, Chelsea do have some problems and injury concerns. Fofana, James, Chilwell, Kepa and Kante are longer term absentees and midfielders Kovacic and Jorginho are doubts for this one. It is likely that we should see some rotation from Potter, especially given their poor performance on the weekend.
Manchester City v Chelsea Bet Builder Tips
Manchester City (-1 Handicap)
Manchester City might not have quite reached their ridiculous highs so far recently but they continue to win most games comfortably. There was a stretch of four games in September and October which saw them win four games by an aggregate score line of 18-3 but since then they have not been so convincing due to several reasons, including a few red cards, rotation, and most of all, a Haaland injury. However, the big Norwegian striker was back on the bench on the weekend and managed 26 minutes, in which he looked just as dangerous as usual. Not only did he score, but he also had one disallowed for a marginal offside too. Given Manchester City’s plethora of options, there are no guarantees that Haaland is brought in for this game, but Pep will want to win this trophy and go as strong as he can so I think that Haaland should start here. Given the strength of Manchester City’s squad, their ability to rotate is probably the best in the world and so resting players makes a small amount of difference to their team.
Chelsea and Graham Potter have hit a brick wall. They looked like a team who weren’t sure of what they were supposed to be doing on Sunday and they were lucky that it was only 1-0 in all honesty, losing 0.30-2.27 on expected goals. This result was not a massive shock given recent performances in and they have lost on expected goals to Aston Villa (2.65-1.38), Brentford (1.47-0.56), Brighton (2.61-1.17) and Salzburg (1.55-1.52), all of which are teams they should be beating, in recent weeks. Given Manchester City’s much stronger squad and the phenomenon that is Haaland up front, they should manage to beat this Chelsea side comfortably. The blues have also had a day less of rest than the Citizens to make it even more difficult for the visitors.
Phil Foden to Score or Assist
Phil Foden started the season on fire and was clearly Guardiola’s go to guy on the left wing. However, recently he has fallen out of favour with the manager in the Premier League and has played more in the Champions League instead, which suggests he should play here. Against domestic teams where he has started this season, he has six goals and three assists in ten appearances, including a hattrick against main rivals Manchester United. Graham Potter does not seem set on his favourite defence yet, but it is likely that an ageing Cesar Azpilicueta should start here and Foden should have the better of the veteran here.
Christian Pulisic to have 2+ Shots
Christian Pulisic is a shining light in a struggling Chelsea attack so far this season, even though he has only been provided with limited opportunities. New signings Raheem Sterling and Aubameyang have not quite hit the ground running and Havertz and Mount have continued to make an impact with Potter as manager. Pulisic has only started four matches in all competitions but has managed a goal and assist in this time and been impressive generally.
He has only managed 11 shots but has only played 556 minutes in all competitions, averaging 1.78 shots per 90 minutes. In his last two starts in the Premier League, he has had six shots, as well as three off the bench at Brentford. Last season he averaged 1.95 shots per 90 in the Premier League and across his league career over the last seven seasons he’s averaging 2.19 shots per game. Manchester City’s defence should be weakened here, and Rico Lewis will probably be playing at right back and this should provide opportunities. Rafa Mir of Sevilla last week had six shots with two on target against Rico Lewis and Pulisic will sense this as an opportunity to build up his minutes before the World Cup.
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How to watch Manchester City v Chelsea in the EFL Cup?
📅 When is Manchester City v Chelsea? / Wednesday, 9th November 2022, 20:00
🏟 Where is Manchester City v Chelsea? / Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
📺 What TV channel is Manchester City v Chelsea on? / Sky Sports Main Event 🟨 …And who is the referee for Manchester City v Chelsea? / S. Hooper 🏴