In what is the standout matchup in tonight’s EFL Cup between two Premier League heavyweights, a misfiring Chelsea side travel to an Etihad stadium that has come to expect home wins this season.
Below I’ve crunched the numbers behind their domestic campaigns so far, where Man City sit second in the table five positions above the visitors. Use the stats to help pick from any betting markets from goals to corners or shots to cards with confidence. It may be worth waiting for lineups to get confirmed though as you never know who Pep and Potter will be picking for this cup tie.
Check out my Stats Pack Guide if you’re not 100% sure on how to make best use of the data.
In the penultimate game before the World Cup, predicted lineups are something of a wild guess and we may have to question whether World Cup starters like Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Christian Pulisic and many more will want to play at risk of injury, and if they do, their commitment to each battle.
Joao Cancelo is suspended for Man City. Kalvin Phillips and Kyle Walker both remain injury doubts. There is likely to be plenty of rotation made by Pep Guardiola. Such is the strength in depth of the City squad, the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez should all feature though.
Erling Braut Haaland has been carrying a niggling injury recently and is unlikely to be risked in a Carabao Cup match.
Chelsea have several injury concerns with the likes of Kepa, Chilwell, and Fofana all on the treatment table. Reece James and Ngolo Kante are out long term and won’t even feature in the World Cup for their respective countries.
Armando Broja is likely to get the nod upfront instead of Aubameyang in this Carabao Cup tie.
It comes as no surprise that Man City currently have both the best xG for and best xGA in the Premier League so far this season. They have been scoring an average of 3 goals per game and conceding just 0.93 per 90 mins. Only Liverpool average more SOT per 90 mins than Man City.
Defender Joao Cancelo was sent off for City at the weekend vs Fulham, but no team has fewer cards than the Citizens this season in the Premier League.
Chelsea have been disappointing offensively this season and have been slightly underachieving their xG of 1.35 per 90 mins. They rank 12th out of any team in the Premier League for shots per 90 mins (11.46) and their SOT per game average of 3.84 is disappointing.
At the other end of the field their average of 11.46 shots against per 90 mins ranks fifth best. Chelsea rank highly for cards obtained this season, their 31 yellows and 2 reds have only been surpassed by three other teams.
Player shots and shots on target
It is no surprise to see the machine that is Erling Braut Haaland dominate the shooting stats for Man City.
He is unlikely to start here though, and Phil Foden is immediately the player who catches the eye, averaging 2.20 shots per 90 mins this season. He has been on a long bench warming run in the Premier League and will be aiming to attract attention here if he starts from a central area.
Riyad Mahrez and Julian Alvarez are also both excellent candidates to have their shooting boots on for this contest. Mahrez averages nearly 3 shots per 90 mins but is wasteful with a poor 0.92 SOT average.
Armando Broja averages the most SOT per 90 mins for Chelsea and with him expected to start he will most likely offer the biggest threat.
An interesting player for shots is Christian Pulisic, who averages more per game than any other Chelsea player. He does however have a poor conversion rate on target.
Players goals and assists
Erling Braut Haaland has bagged an impressive number of goals this season, whilst Kevin De Bruyne continues to be an assist machine. Neither are expected to be in the starting XI for this match though, so other candidates need to be looked at.
Again, the telescope seems to land on Phil Foden, who will surely be eager to catch the eye if he starts. It would not be a surprise to see him hit the back of the net or supply an assist.
It just shows how much Chelsea have struggled offensively when their top scorer only has three goals this season. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount are not expected to start here and even penalty specialist Jorginho could be benched.
This could be a match in which Chelsea fire blanks anyway but the most likely threat will probably come out wide from Pulisic or Ziyech.
Man City cards
Man City are a very clean team and their main card offender Joao Cancelo is suspended. That is largely attributed to their possession dominance – no other team has had more of the ball than City who average 65.9% possession. If you’re looking for cards, it may be worth keeping an eye on the youngsters who will be keen to make an impression.
It is interesting that Ziyech is expected to start for Chelsea. He averages 5.33 dribbles per 90 mins and can be a tricky customer. He could swap wings so youngsters Sergio Gomez and Rico Lewis could be potential card candidates considering their inexperience. Both are expected to feature in the XI for City in this Carabao Cup tie.
Matchups to watch
Sergio Gomez vs Hakim Ziyech
Rico Lewis vs Christian Pulisic
Cole Palmer vs Mateo Kovacic
Connor Gallagher averages nearly two fouls per 90 mins and has picked up three cards this season. If he starts then it feels like the sort of match where he could go into the book vs some good technical Man City midfielders, including potentially Phil Foden.
After his 3 fouls against Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka last weekend and all together looking exposed in a back four, Marc Cucurella could also have a tough time against Mahrez.
Jack Grealish is expected to start for City. With his high fouls drawn rate in addition to his dribbling, then he could make life hell for Azpilicueta at right back, or whoever he may face there.
Matchups to watch
Conor Gallagher vs Phil Foden
Cesar Azpilicueta vs Jack Grealish
Marc Cucurella vs Riyad Mahrez
My Picks from the Stats Pack
If you’re struggling to grind out a bet builder from the above data, here’s just a few selections that the stats pack led me to. It’d come in at around 5/1.
Manchester City vs Chelsea
Referee S. Hooper averages 2.89 cards per game.
Man City average 0.85 cards per game.
Chelsea average 2.46 cards per game.
This is the penultimate match before the World Cup.
Man City average 0.85 cards per game, and 2.31 cards against.
Chelsea average 2.46 cards per game, and just 1.31 cards against.
Man City average 16.53 shots per game.
Chelsea concede 11.46 shots per game.
Riyad Mahrez averages 2.92 shots per game.
Man City average 7.07 corners per game.
Chelsea concede 5.38 corners per game.