Chelsea Vs Manchester United Preview
After the hiatus for the international break, the Premier League resumes with a Saturday lunchtime kickoff at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea look to extend their unbeaten start to the season at the expense of Manchester United. Chelsea have matched Liverpool and Manchester City’s opening salvo with all three unbeaten on 20 points, while United’s troubled start leaves them already seven points adrift and barely above halfway in the table.
Game: Chelsea v Manchester United
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: Saturday, 20th October, 12.30pm
Chelsea have hit the ground running under new coach Maurizio Sarri, who has wasted no time transforming a club that seemed to lose its way under the latter part of Antonio Conti’s reign. Starting the season with five straight wins, the Blues’ progress was stalled slightly by successive draws against West Ham United and Liverpool, but it was back to winning ways last time out, when they returned from Southampton with a convincing 3-0 win.
Throw into the mix two 1-0 victories to kick off their Europa League campaign, and Chelsea can be rightly pleased with their first two month’s efforts. After a four-game winless streak, Jose Mourinho’s days at Old Trafford seemed numbered when his United side were two goals down with barely twenty minutes remaining of their last game at home to Newcastle United.
However, a spirited comeback saw United level the score with two quick goals, while Alexis Sanchez’s last-minute header earned a dramatic 3-2 win. That result has eased the pressure on Mourinho, but with this trip to Chelsea followed by games with Manchester City and Juventus (twice) over the next month, it remains to be seen how long his stay of execution lasts.
Given home advantage and current form, it is hardly surprising that Chelsea are strong favourites with Bet365 offering an odds-on price of 7/10 on a home win. Anyone wanting to bet against them can get 3/1 with Betfair for the draw, while various bookmakers are showing odds in excess of 4/1 for United to pull off a surprise win.
United have not beaten Chelsea in any of their last eight meetings away from Old Trafford, with Chelsea scoring thirteen goals to United’s two in seven wins and a 1-1 draw. The Blue have scored in all eleven of their games so far, keeping clean sheets in more than half of them.
Meanwhile, Mourinho has had some justification in being critical of his team, in view of the fact that only Fulham (21), Huddersfield and Cardiff (17 apiece) have conceded more Premier League goals this season. Indeed, last season it was Christmas time (19 games into the season) before United conceded as many goals as the 14 they have already shipped in their eight league games up to early October this time around.
Free Betting Tip: Over 2.5 Goals at 1.91 from WeBet
Chelsea have looked much more adventurous since Sarri changed from 3-5-2 to a 4-2-3-1 formation, a setup that has cost Victor Moses his wingback role, but has not affected the attacking influence of Marcos Alonso down the left, while David Luiz has returned from the wilderness to look like the player he once was. Up front, Oliver Giroud has revealed in his spearhead, providing four assists, but the main architect of Chelsea’s resurgence is the mercurial Eden Hazard, who is currently in the form of his life with seven goals and three assists already to his credit.
For United, Mourinho can only hope that his main strikers, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku can reproduce the kind of form that brought both of them goals during the international break. United’s dramatic win over Newcastle shows that they desperately need goals to paper over the cracks of their defensive shortcomings, with the United boss still not able to have a first-choice back four that he can regularly depend on.
Free Betting Tip: Man Utd +0.5AH at 2.26 from Save The Punter