While Chelsea have been busy applying £82m worth of ointment to the itches of last season, champions Manchester City’s transfer activity has been grabbing far fewer headlines.
The arrivals of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, among others, have seen the Blues climb to the head of the betting to win the Premier League this season, so it comes as no surprise to see Jose Mourinho’s charges installed as favourites to finish higher than the Citizens in bwin’s head-to-head market.
A price of 4/5 says the west London faction prevail in 2014/15’s battle of the billionaires, while those who fancy City to get the better of their royal blue adversaries can back them to come out on top at 19/20.
The odds say it’ll be Chelsea who finish higher, but before you go wading in with a big bet on the capital club, consider this triumvirate of reasons to back Man City to finish higher.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men haven’t spent big, but they’ve bought well.
Defensively, the Citizens were occasionally susceptible last term, but with Willy Cabellero, Fernando and Bacary Sagna through the door and Eliaquim Mangala on the way, they’ve added experience and quality that will make them far tougher to breach next term.
City haven’t lost any member of their star-studded frontline.
Many a blue moonie has lain awake in recent months, fearing that the continental troughs offered in Ligue 1 or La Liga would woo prize pigs Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
Neither absconded and, with no attacking acquisitions being parachuted in, they’ll both star in a settled frontline looking to best the 102 goals scored last term, 31 more than the tally mustered by the Special One’s side.
Costa’s Stamford Bridge arrival far from guarantees the gap will be bridged as well; only twice in seven first seasons in Europe has the £32m man hit double figures.
Chelsea haven’t finished above the Citizens in any of the previous three seasons.
Since the two-time Premier League winners first qualified for the Champions League in 2010/11 to establish themselves amongst England’s elite, the Blues haven’t been able to get the better of them over 38 games.