Thursday, December 3, 2020

Prediction: Manchester United vs Chelsea


Verdict: Manchester United to score over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to build off of their stunning European victory in midweek, Manchester United will welcome Chelsea to an empty Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

Manchester United

Starting with the hosts, while there might have been a string of questions surrounding Manchester United’s worrying start to the 2020/2021 campaign, the Reds will be boosted by what was a stunning European performance in Paris earlier in the week. Snatching a late winner away at last season’s finalists PSG on Tuesday night, the former Premier League champions were also last seen on domestic duties putting on a late flurry at St. James’ Park. Bagging three goals in the dying embers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men managed to grab a 4-1 romp and have now won five of their last six matchups across all competitions. While United might still be dealing with some rather glaring issues at the back, many around Old Trafford will be excited by Marcus Rashford’s recent purple patch. Bagging the winner away in Paris late on earlier in the week, the England international has three goals in his last four appearances for club and country.

Team News

Edinson Cavani is in contention to make his Manchester United debut and a first league appearance since featuring for Paris Saint-Germain in February.

Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood should be available but Anthony Martial is suspended, while Eric Bailly may miss four weeks with a muscular injury.

Chelsea

As for the visitors, although Chelsea might have managed to open their Champions League campaign with a 0-0 stalemate at home against Spanish outfit Sevilla, the Blues have still failed to find much stability. While Frank Lampard’s side might have entered the international break earlier in the month with a 4-0 romp against Crystal Palace, the former England midfielder saw his men throw away the lead in worrying fashion last weekend. Watching Southampton come from behind twice and grab a last-gasp equaliser at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have managed to win just one of their last five matchups across all formats. Still dealing with their own issues at the back despite managing to keep a shock clean sheet on European duties, the former Premier League champions have remarkably failed to land a top-flight clean sheet on the road since December 22nd. However, in what could be a boost for Saturday’s guests, they did land a 3-1 win when they last faced off against Manchester United on FA Cup duties over the summer.

Team News

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa is sidelined with a shoulder injury, with Billy Gilmour the only other absentee.

Hakim Ziyech could make his first start after two substitute appearances.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides last faced off on FA Cup duties over the summer, Chelsea picked up a 3-1 win at Wembley.
  • Three of the last four meetings between Saturday’s opponents have finished with over 2.5 goals.
  • Chelsea have failed to record a Premier League clean sheet on the road since February 22nd.
  • Marcus Rashford has three goals in his last four appearances for club and country.
  • The Blues have conceded over 1.5 goals in five of their last six top-flight contests away from Stamford Bridge.

Conclusion

Managing to snatch a late winner away at French giants PSG earlier in the week, Manchester United should find the mood in their camp at a real high as Chelsea come to town on Saturday evening. Now managing to win five of their last six matchups across all formats, including a 4-1 romp away at St. James’ Park last weekend, Marcus Rashford and co should be confident of cashing in on a Chelsea defence that really has a reputation for their domestic issues at the back. Despite just about managing to hang onto a clean sheet on Champions League duties in midweek, Saturday’s guests have remarkably failed to record a Premier League clean sheet on the road since December 22nd. Also shipping at least a pair of strikes in five of their last six away fixtures, we’re backing a fruitful evening for United.

Verdict: Manchester United to score over 1.5 goals

Best Odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Unibet

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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