Manchester City travel to Stamford Bridge, knowing anything less than victory will hand Liverpool the Premier League title.
The reds hammered Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening to put them on the brink of a first Premier League title and an unbearable summer from their supporters, and only City can catch them, but first they must navigate past the former champions. The blues have had an odd history in West London, so what do the stats say about this fixture?
A draw is the most unlikely outcome of this fixture. Since the Premier League season began in 1992/93, City have only drawn five matches at the Bridge. City’s first Premier League victory at Chelsea cam in the first fixture played, the bleus running out 4-2 winners, but then failed to win an of their next 11 matches there. Only a 4-2 win in February 2010 ended a long and dismal away record.
City have only won 4 Premier League matches and lost 12, so even the most optimistic of City fans would expect to see Liverpool crowned champions on Thursday.
Prior to the Premier League, City won four out of sixteen visits to West London, stretching back to April 1971, and City’s last win before the arrival of the new competition was a 3-1 win in September 1988. That match was notable for the absence of practically all supporters, as most of the ground had been ordered closed due to crowd trouble in the play-offs the previous season.
Thursday’s meeting will be the 79th time the two have met in London, with City winning just 15 and losing 40 in all competitions. City’s longest unbeaten run at Stanford Bridge stands at 6 matches, which started with that 3-1 win in 1988 and finished with a 0-0 draw in 1993, while the longest winless run is currently 11 matches, starting with the goalless draw in 1993 and ending with a 1-0 loss in March 2009.
City’s longest winning run is absolutely nothing to get excited about. Two wins on the bounce in September 1978 and December 1983 and April 191954 to January 1955 is the extent of City’s winning streak. By comparison, City’s longest losing run is four matches between March 2006 and March 2009. It was during this period that City’s heaviest defeat at Stamford Bridge – 6-0 took place in October 2007. Meanwhile, City’s biggest win remains at 4-1, achieved in September 1978, while the highest scoring draw is 4-4 in February 1937.
Unsurprisingly, the two teams have never met in June, however April is usually the month for this fixture to be played, with the two teams meeting on 16 occasions. May is the most unlikely month for them both to meet, with only one fixture being played then. These two also played out a goalless draw on Christmas Day in 1914, but the blue won the next time they played on that day, winning 3-0 in 1951.
Who will take the spoils on Thursday night?