Wednesday’s Premier League action brings a couple of exciting fixtures as Chelsea and Manchester City hope to complete 2021 in style.
Let’s have a quick look at today’s Premier League picks.
Chelsea vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea will be looking to close out an utterly impressive 2021 on a high when they take on mid-table Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge.
A remarkable calendar year for the Blues, highlighted by their 2020/21 Champions League triumph, is drawing to a close as Thomas Tuchel’s men hope to stay within touching distance of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The London heavyweights came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-1 away from home on Boxing Day, halting a run of two consecutive league draws to keep a six-point deficit on the Citizens.
Returning to Stamford Bridge may not necessarily be a good omen, as Chelsea have drawn three of their last four Premier League matches here (W1) despite breaking the deadlock in two of those stalemates.
However, Brighton’s visit to the capital certainly gives the impression of a winnable clash, especially considering the Londoners haven’t lost any of their 12 all-time league H2Hs (W10, D2).
What’s more, the Seagulls have failed to get on the scoresheet in each of their six league meetings at Stamford bridge, including a scoreless draw in their most recent encounter here back in April.
Meanwhile, a quick-fire brace fired Graham Potter’s side to a 2-0 home triumph over Brentford on Boxing Day, putting Brighton’s underwhelming 11-game winless Premier League run firmly to bed (D8, L3).
Despite beating the Premier League newcomers a couple of days ago, the visitors will face a formidable challenge in London as they aim to snap a six-match winless top-flight streak on hostile turf (D5, L1).
Given Brighton’s rather uninspired attacking displays away from home, having scored under 1.5 goals in six of their last seven league travels, it’s hard to make a case for Chelsea not to win at Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: Chelsea to win despite a -1 handicap / Brighton to draw a blank
Brentford vs Manchester City
A 2-0 away loss at Brighton on Boxing Day means that none of Brentford’s last seven Premier League matches have featured an identical outcome twice in a row (W2, D2, L3).
That lack of consistency could be the hosts’ number one opponent here as they welcome a rampant Manchester City to the Brentford Community Stadium for their first-ever Premier League showdown.
However, the Bees have experienced a noticeable upturn in form at home in the build-up to this fixture, going from three consecutive home league defeats to back-to-back single-goal triumphs.
Even though it looks like a far-fetched dream, another victory over the reigning Premier League champions would see Brentford win three top-flight games on home turf for the first time since 1939.
Unfortunately for Thomas Frank’s side, they are set to meet Man City amid the visitors’ purple patch, with Pep Guardiola’s men hitting the ground running since a 2-0 home loss to Crystal Palace in October.
Coming into this matchday, the Citizens have won nine Premier League matches in a row, scoring a staggering 17 goals in their last three league outings, including a 6-3 thumping of Leicester City on Boxing Day.
Guardiola’s players have tallied a resounding 112 Premier League goals in 2021 so far, more than any other side has managed across a single calendar year since 1960.
Additionally, they have lost their final league match in one of the last 20 calendar years (W10, D9), courtesy of a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool in 2016.
Prediction: Manchester City to win despite a -1 handicap / Over 3.5 goals