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Chelsea vs. Manchester Betting Preview, Prediction, and Free Pick
This English Premier League weekend will start with the clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.
It’s funny how many expected the Red Devils to improve in the summer and challenge for the title, while Chelsea was supposed to be in transition.After the first eight games of the season, it’s quite the opposite.
The Blues from London have been one of the most consistent teams out there, while Manchester United is in the middle of the table and already lost as many as three matches.
The big question is if Mourinho and his players can turn this around. A good result away at Chelsea would boost the atmosphere surrounding the club and improve the confidence of a squad that desperately needs inspiration.
It will be a tough task, though, as Chelsea has been the better side since the start of the season. New manager Maurizio Sarri has managed to install his ideas, and the players embraced them instantly.
Still, Mourinho used to be a specialist in big games because of the iron defense and discipline he is famous for.
In this Chelsea vs. Manchester United betting preview, I take a look at what the best EPL betting sites have to offer for this match and see if there are any bets worth making.
Chelsea vs. Manchester United Betting Odds
As always, I will start by checking what the mainstream betting markets can deliver.
You will rarely see a game that features two sides from the Big 6 with such a low price for one of the teams. The home advantage plays a role in the odds for Chelsea, but the crisis in Manchester United is the main factor here.
The team has been struggling badly since the start of the season, and there are constant rumors that Mourinho will be sacked. On top of that, the relationship between the manager and the players seems shaky, to put it mildly.
At the same time, Chelsea is looking solid, and most of the players seem happy. The Blues are doing a fine job so far, so it’s only natural for them to be the big favorite in this game.
As for the over/under goals line, I see no surprise as well. You would normally expect a tighter game when a Mourinho team is visiting a strong opponent, but the current squad of the Portuguese manager is leaking too many goals.
Let’s take a deeper look at each team and understand what can be expected from this English Premier League match.
I don’t think that anyone expected such a start of the season from Chelsea. Sure, the squad is full of exceptional players, but it lacked the depth and the confidence to challenge for the title last season.
With a new manager who would need time to work on a new system, it seemed like this campaign would be about getting into the top 4.
I don’t think that’s the case anymore, because Chelsea looks like a contender for the title.
The main reason for that is the confidence that Maurizio Sarri brought to Chelsea. The manager changed the system by implementing a more attacking formation.
Players like Hazard, Willian, and Pedro are given the chance to cut to the inside, while the full-backs provide a much-needed width to the attacking formation.
At the same time, Kante is relentlessly covering all of his teammates, with the help of Jorginho. Those two are crucial for Chelsea, as they protect the defense, help the transition from the back to front, and feed the more creative players with the ball.
Of course, the likes of Willian, Pedro, Hazard, Kovacic, Barkley, and the full-backs also take part in those processes, as Sarri expects a high work rate from all of his players. This doesn’t harm the more talented members of his squad.
Eden Hazard is enjoying the most productive time of his career and looks determined to help Chelsea, despite the strong rumors linking him to Real Madrid.
On top of everything else, Chelsea is rather solid at the back. The new goalie, Kepa, has been flawless so far during the campaign, while the defense has managed to limit the opportunities even against teams like Liverpool.
One potential problem is the possible absence of the German defender Antonio Rudiger. He has a groin injury that might prevent him from playing in this match. If that’s the case, I expect to see Gary Cahill on the pitch.
The experienced Englishman should be able to fit well alongside in-form David Luiz, so Chelsea should be able to cope. I feel that the biggest threats might come from the flanks.
Marcos Alonso is one of the best attacking full-backs in the league, but he often leaves a lot of space behind.The likes of Martial, Rashford, Mata, and Sanchez are all more than capable of punishing that.
The question is if Maurizio Sarri will instruct Alonso to stay more disciplined and Kante to help more on this side of the pitch. I think that the Italian manager will do exactly that, as it is the biggest risk at the back.
At the same time, Chelsea should have a lot of chances to find the net, considering the defensive issues that the Red Devils have. I expect Giroud to start once again, as he does more for the team than Alvaro Morata.
The French striker is not particularly efficient when it comes to scoring, but his flicks and the spaces he creates for Hazard and the other attacking players have been crucial so far.
I think that the biggest question surrounding Manchester United is if the dreadful last season of Mourinho at Chelsea will happen again. You probably remember, but the Portuguese manager managed to ruin his relationship with both the players and the board.
As a result, the team had its worst campaign since the arrival of Roman Abramovich. The damage was done early on, and Mourinho was sacked. Many fear that the story will repeat itself in Manchester United.
The doubts looked to be confirmed in the last home game against Newcastle. The Magpies went 2-0 up early on and had chances to score again. Manchester United looked doomed, but the side somehow managed a comeback.
According to the rumors, Paul Pogba selflessly suggested that he be moved further back so that he could protect the defense and serve as a deep-lying playmaker. The change worked, and the Frenchman had one of his best halves of the season.
This emotional win might be a turning point in United’s season, according to many. I understand where this is coming from, but let’s not forget that Newcastle is one of the worst teams in the EPL. The Magpies are struggling badly, so beating them should be expected.
There are much tougher challenges ahead, as Man Utd will now face Chelsea, Everton, Bournemouth away from home, Manchester City, and Juventus twice in the Champions League in less than a month.
Jose Mourinho will have to use his whole squad and get some results, or the season might be over before Christmas. I already don’t think that Manchester United has a chance for the title, but if Arsenal, Chelsea, and Spurs can keep the tempo, the top 4 spot might be gone as well.
This is why Mourinho badly needs to get a result against Chelsea. A draw would be considered a huge success, as the Blues are in much better shape. I expect a very conservative approach by Manchester United, as Mourinho will try to stop the Chelsea full-backs from joining the attacks.
This is the only way to isolate Hazard and prevent the opponent from playing to the strengths of its attacking players.
The question is if the defense will hold. After conceding 14 goals so far during the English Premier League, I’m inclined to say no.
Prediction and Betting Pick
I certainly expect Chelsea to have more of the ball in this match, and I can see Jose Mourinho going out for a 0-0 draw.
The manager’s back is against the wall, and Jose always relies on his defense when that’s the case.I don’t think he will be able to resist the temptation to try and simply park the bus.
We saw that teams like West Ham had a lot of success playing like that against Chelsea, so we might see an ultra-defensive Manchester United setup in this match.
The problem is that the defensive unit of Manchester United lacks the cohesion and the confidence to keep a clean sheet against a team like Chelsea.
The way I see it, it’s going to be close for a while, but Chelsea will eventually open the scoring, and Manchester United will collapse. This is why the odds of 1.73 for Chelsea to win, offered by BetOnline, are good enough for me.
It’s the obvious choice for this match, but sometimes, you don’t have to make things complicated. As for the correct score prediction, I think that 2-0 in favor of the hosts would be my choice.
I am curious to see what will happen here, as this game has the potential to end Jose Mourinho or become the start of a resurrection at the helm of Manchester United.
At the same time, if Chelsea passes this test as well, I think the Blues will officially become a factor in the title race.
What are your expectations for this match? Do you think that Jose will manage to contain Chelsea? Let me know in the comments section below.