Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Prediction: Chelsea vs Manchester United

Verdict: Both teams to score in the second-half

Best Odds: 7/5

Bookmaker: Luckster

In what is a heavyweight Premier League showdown from Stamford Bridge on Thursday night, Chelsea will welcome Manchester United to west London.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, while Chelsea might currently be in the midst of a five-match unbeaten run across all competitions, it is no secret that Mauricio Pochettino has found a huge amount of scrutiny over his position at Stamford Bridge. Throwing away the lead twice on their return from March’s international break as they eventually had to settle for a 2-2 stalemate against relegation scrappers Burnley, the former Tottenham boss will have a major headache over his side’s extended issues at the back. Along with shipping a pair of goals in all of their last five appearances across all competitions, Thursday’s hosts have also failed to muster a single clean sheet in any of their last 11 outings – a run that stems back to January 26th. Still battling it out in the bottom-half of the Premier League standings and facing a real battle in their bid to clinch a crucial European return, Chelsea are desperate to find some kind of domestic stability.

Team News

In what could be a major blow for Chelsea over the final couple of months, the Blues have confirmed that England international Reece James is not expected to feature for the remainder of the season. Likewise, still dealing with a stacked injury list in west London, the likes of Romeo Lavia and former Leicester defender Wesley Fofana will not feature here.

influential defender Ben Chilwell is not expected to play any part in west London. Bagging a Premier League brace against Burnley over the weekend and continuing to shine since completing a summer move from Manchester City, the red-hot Cole Palmer will certainly play a leading role at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United

As for the visitors, while Manchester United might have extended on their FA Cup adventure on March 17th as they secured a famous 4-3 victory against Liverpool, the Red Devils have continued to show their own respective issues this season. With continued speculation that Erik ten Hag could be removed from the Old Trafford dugout at the end of the season, United have already accepted that they will be unable to clinch a crucial Champions League ticket in 2024. Marking their return from the fortnight interval with an extremely generous 1-1 stalemate away at Brentford, the former Ajax boss has seen his squad win just one of their last four Premier League appearances. However, landing a 2-1 victory when they welcomed Chelsea to the red half of Manchester for their reverse top-flight showdown back on December 6th, ten Hag will be desperate for a repeat performance on Thursday night.

Team News

Both suffering respective injury blows against Brentford over the weekend, the defensive duo of Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof are not expected to feature here. Likewise, facing a race against the clock to feature at this summer’s European Championships, England international Luke Shaw will not travel to Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

Finding the net in all of his five Premier League appearances prior to March’s international break, Rasmus Hojlund will spearhead ten Hag’s charge in west London. Bagging a maiden Premier League strike away at Brentford, Mason Mount could be handed a full recall against his former club here.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Chelsea and Manchester United met for their reverse Premier League showdown on December 6th, the Red Devils picked up a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.
    • Remarkably, Manchester United are unbeaten in all of their previous 12 Premier League contests against Chelsea.
    • Chelsea have conceded a pair of goals in all of their previous five domestic appearances across all formats.
    • Thursday’s guests have recorded just a single clean sheet from their previous six Premier League contests.
    • All of the last five Premier League meetings between Chelsea and Manchester United have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    In what looks set to be a frantic affair from Old Trafford on Thursday night, neutrals will be hoping that chances come thick and fast here. With both sides showing their own respective defensive issues, Chelsea and Manchester United do have a habit of producing fireworks when they meet. It should be highlighted, with the two former champions seeing all of their previous five meetings finish with both teams finding the net, we are expecting a similar outcome at Stamford Bridge.

    Verdict: Both teams to score in the second-half

    Best Odds: 7/5

    Bookmaker: Luckster

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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