I THOUGHT bookies over-reacted to Chelsea being held by Swansea as they installed Man City as favourites to win the Premier League.
The Blues were on course for victory until Thibaut Courtois was red carded and while City opened with a superb win at West Brom the three points were expected.
However, there’s no doubt Jose Mourinho has been behind the eight ball this week after the way he treated the club’s medical staff for going on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard in that 2-2 draw.
So the focus is on the Portuguese boss and he rolls up at the Etihad on Sunday without banned Courtois with Asmir Begovic between the sticks knowing his side have won just one in their last eight visits.
Manuel Pellegrini will have been relieved to start with a superb win after being handed a new deal and now he has to deliver a trophy.
On the evidence of the first weekend City are in better shape and I don’t think they’ll lose but we all know how good Mourinho is in battling for a draw when he wants one.
So while City tempt at 23-20 with BetVictor and Betfred the safer bet is City draw no bet but it pays just 1-2 with Betfred.
Pellegrini should have Sergio Aguero available to start after he was benched at The Hawthorns and if he does he’s the obvious pick for first scorer at 9-2 at William Hill.
David Silva was the star man against West Brom and has been awarded the opening goal at the expense of Yaya Toure. He is 7-2 at Paddy Power to net at any time.
Apart from Courtois and a doubt over Oscar the Londoners will be at full strength and that means Diego Costa up top on his own. He wasn’t at his brilliant best against the Swans but will need to step up to the plate and is 6-1 at bet365 and Ladbrokes to bag the opener.
It’s biggest game of the season so far and one I’m struggling to call so I’m going to sit on the fence and back a draw at 28-11 at BetBright.
Today’s other Premier League match sees Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace. All those tipping the Gunners to win the title were stunned by their opening-day defeat to West Ham.
It was a shocker and you get the feeling they have to bounce back at Selhurst Park or it’s almost game over even this early in the season. Arsenal have a good record against Palace having won their last five but this is a tricky trip to a side who started well with a 3-1 win at Norwich last weekend.
Arsenal are a best 3-4 at Ladbrokes and William Hill with Palace 17-4 at BetVictor and the odds on the way look a tad short.
Palace boss Alan Pardew has some decent attacking option and I like the prospects of both teams to score at 13-15 with 10bet.
Arsene Wenger has to decide to go with Theo Walcott or Olivier Giroud and if it’s the former I’d consider him to score at 37-19 to net. Another possibility is Santi Cazorla who is bigger at 4-1 with betfair.
Big game in the Championship is Wolves v Hull and after both sides started with wins I can see another draw here. Hull look to have the stronger squad but with home advantage Wolves should make them work.
Boss Kenny Jackett has lost Bakary Sako to Palace and that’s a blow but still Benik Afobe who netted 25 times last season and has netted in the opening league and cup matches of this campaign.
The draw pays 3-1 at bet365 while Afobe is 11-2 at bet365 to score first and 2-1 at bet365 to net.
Man City v Chelsea draw (4pm)
Crystal Palace v Arsenal btts (1.30pm)
Afobe to score (12pm)
(2-1, William Hill)
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