Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 10/11
In what could be another lively encounter between two former Premier League champions, Chelsea will welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night with a spot in the quarter-finals of this year’s EFL Cup up for grabs.
Starting with the hosts, putting in another clinical display and picking up a 4-2 win away at Turf Moor over the weekend, Chelsea are enjoying their brightest spell since Frank Lampard’s arrival over the summer. Enjoying a seven-match winning run across all competitions, a run that stems back to the 22nd of September, the former England midfielder has his sights firmly set on clinching another piece of silverware for his side this season. Still boosted by their shock 1-0 victory away at Champions League semi-finalists Ajax on foreign soil last week, the Blues’ youthful squad has a growing reputation for their form in the final third. Now scoring 21 goals on their seven-match winning run, including bagging four strikes against both Southampton and Burnley, one man to keep an eye out for in midweek could be USA international, Christian Pulisic. Despite having his match time-limited after making the move from BVB over the summer, the 21-year-old recorded his first senior hat-trick at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Lampard has plenty of squad players who need game time, with the likes of Olivier Giroud, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi all raring to go. Willy Caballero should return in goal, while in the back four only Kurt Zouma is likely to keep his place from the win at Burnley.
As for the visitors, picking up a 3-1 win away at relegation scrappers Norwich on Sunday and landing back-to-back victories across all competitions for just the second time this season, Manchester United are desperate to kick-start their campaign. Enduring their worst domestic start in three decades and winning just one of their last five matches against Premier League opposition, it will undoubtedly be their form on the road giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the biggest headache. Despite their victory against Norwich over the weekend, the former champions have suffered back-to-back defeats away at Newcastle and West Ham and they have recorded just a single top-flight victory away from Old Trafford since the 27th of February. Although Wednesday’s guests might be continuing to struggle with some defensive issues, fans around Manchester will be looking for the returning Anthony Martial to lead their EFL Cup charge. Despite missing from the spot at Carrow Road, the Frenchman did redeem himself in East Anglia and now has two in his last two appearances since returning from injury.
Head Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that Paul Pogba will be sidelined for up to another month with an ankle injury. Nemanja Matic and Luke Shaw are on the comeback trail, but Axel Tuanzebe, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Diogo Dalot are sidelined.
Key Factors to Consider
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last four matches against Chelsea, drawing two and winning two.
- However, the Reds have won just one of their last eight matches away at Premier League opposition, losing five of those matches.
- Chelsea are enjoying a seven-match winning run across all competitions.
- The Blues have also scored 21 goals on that winning run.
- Chelsea have won their last three matches at Stamford Bridge.
While Manchester United may have managed to open the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign with a 4-0 win over Chelsea back in August, their form outside of Old Trafford has remained incredibly inconsistent. With Wednesday’s hosts currently enjoying a seven-match winning run across all formats and continuing to shine in the final third, we’re backing Frank Lampard’s men to come away with a spot in the quarter-finals in midweek.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 10/11
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