Friday, September 20, 2019

Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Tom Dunstan in FA Cup, Free Soccer Predictions 17 Feb 2019

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Verdict: Manchester United win

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester United will look to continue their FA Cup form in London when they visit Chelsea on Monday night.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, while Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season may have had them believing they’re title dark horses, the Blues are enduring a very worrying run of form. Shipping six against Manchester City last week and some feeling Maurizio Sarri’s short tenure could be coming to an abrupt end, they have now lost two of their last three domestic outings. Now sat outside of the top-four in the Premier League, last year’s FA Cup winners will be glad to be making a return to Stamford Bridge on Monday night. Returning to West London after a 2-1 win away at Malmo in the Europa League, Chelsea are enjoying a six-match unbeaten run on home soil. Along with knocking Tottenham out of the EFL Cup and booking their spot in the final last month, Sarri will be looking for January signing Gonzalo Higuain to lead their charge at the Bridge. Bagging a brace against Huddersfield a fortnight ago, the Juventus loanee became the first Chelsea player to score twice on their home league debut for the club in almost two decades.

Team News

FA Cup holders Chelsea will assess the fitness of several unnamed players ahead of Monday night’s tie.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s ongoing back problem kept him out against Malmo,while Marcos Alonso was rested for that game – both could return.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, while Manchester United’s 2-0 loss to PSG last week may have ended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unbeaten start, the mood around Old Trafford should still be on a high. Booking a return to the top-four and playing with a newfound attacking identity, it has been arguably their form away from Old Trafford gaining the most plaudits. Winning their last six matches on the road, a run that stems back to the middle of December, the Reds have scored in their first 18 away games of a season in all competitions for the first time. Despite England international Marcus Rashford scoring five goals in his last six Premier League outings, one man to watch on Monday could be former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian international has scored 13 goals in his last 15 FA Cup appearances. If United are to extend their unbeaten domestic run under Solskjaer, then the Norweigan legend will know they must improve on their recent record against the Blues. Monday’s visitors have been knocked out by Chelsea in their last four FA Cup meetings.

Team News

Manchester United forwards Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard face at least a fortnight out because of respective groin and hamstring injuries.

Teenagers Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes may feature, along with Marcos Rojo.

Full-backs Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia remain sidelined.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea could become the first team to eliminate Manchester United in five consecutive FA Cup meetings.
  • The defending champions are seeking to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals for the fourth consecutive season. They’ve reached the past two finals.
  • Chelsea have progressed from their last 10 FA Cup home games, including a shootout win against Norwich.
  • The Red Devils have eliminated the FA Cup holders on an unrivalled 10 occasions. They last did so in 2011-12 against Manchester City.
  • United, vying to equal Arsenal’s record of 13 FA Cup titles, are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the fifth consecutive season. They last achieved that feat in 1966.

Conclusion

While Manchester United might be coming off the back of their first defeat against PSG in midweek, Monday’s visitors should be confident of picking up another eye-catching victory on their travels. Despite Chelsea’s winning record at Stamford Bridge, the mood in Sarri’s camp is becoming more unsettled by the week and they are likely to still be feeling the effects of their 6-0 defeat against City last weekend. With United arguably saving their best performances for the road, we’re backing an away victory in West London.

Verdict: Manchester United win 

Best Odds: 21/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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