Manchester United v Chelsea: Old Rivals Clash in Last Chance Saloon Battle for Top Four Spot
While the race for the Premier League title has captivated the imagination of most football fans this season, both Manchester City and Liverpool have very winnable fixtures this weekend against Burnley and Huddersfield Town respectively. Our focus is on the battle for the Champions League places, with Chelsea, making the trip north to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon – kick: off 16:30 BST.
United trail their weekend opponents by three points in the league table, and with an inferior goal difference, only a victory will do for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men with just three games remaining before the end of the season. That elusive victory does look somewhat unlikely considering that United have lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions, and they have not scored a goal from open play in around nine hours of football.
Chelsea are hardly flying themselves. Just two away wins from their last six outings in the Premier League hardly strikes as form horses going into this incredibly important contest for both clubs. Blues boss Maurizio Sarri will be sat in the stands for this game, following his exclusion at the end of their 2-2 home draw with Burnley on Monday evening.
Both clubs have their troubles coming into this fixture, but with the prospect of Champions League football up for grabs next season, it is a game that neither team dare accept defeat from.
Event Date: April 28, 2019
The bookmakers can barely split these two teams in determining who is the favourite to take the three points in this contest – more likely that they don’t know themselves! However, Manchester United are the bookmakers’ narrow choice to claim all three points on Sunday afternoon. United can be backed at the best industry price at the time of writing with William Hill and 888Sport at 17/10.
Chelsea are almost vying for favouritism with the hosts at the standout odds of 7/4 with Betway. An Old Trafford stalemate – which would not be the best result for both teams can be taken with Betfred and Betway at 5/2.
In recent weeks, the performance levels at Old Trafford have returned to similar levels under previous boss, Jose Mourinho. The Red Devils – barring the recent defeat to rivals, Manchester City on Wednesday evening – have been fairly solid in the Premier League in terms of avoiding defeat however. It is probably a leap of faith, but I narrowly prefer Solskjaer’s men to prevail in this game, but it is certainly without any real confidence.
Individual Goal Scorers
Manchester United’s number nine, Romelu Lukaku has been criticised for his lack of goals and recent performances, so this is another opportunity for the Belgian striker to banish those opinions of fans and media outlets. Lukaku is a top-priced 5/1 chance with Unibet and Black Type.
Chelsea’s talisman, and international team-mate of Lukaku, is Eden Hazard, who will be an obvious danger man for the creaking United defence. If you consider that the diminutive attacker also takes penalties for the Blues, he looks to be a solid option at 21/5 with Unibet and 888Sport.
Alexis Sanchez was United’s big-money purchase last January, but the Chilean forward has not hit the heights of former days. The ex-Arsenal man could be involved in Solskjaer’s plans following some recent cameo appearances after a pair of injury lay-offs. It does seem something of an unlikely reality in truth, but Sanchez to score first in this important clash can be had with SportingBet at 15/2.
Further Chelsea interest comes from target men, Gonzalo Higuain and Olivier Giroud, with both available at the best industry price of 6/1. These wagers can be obtained from Ladbrokes and William Hill amongst others.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could decide to throw caution to the wind in this game and release their highly promising youth striker, Mason Greenwood. The 18-year-old prospect can be backed at 8/1 with SportingBet, but he should only be backed if he starts the game, so a check of the pre-match line-ups is a must.
Brazilian attacker, Willian has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in the past, could well be given the starting nod by Sarri, following the untimely injury to Callum Hudson-Odoi. He should be under consideration at a generally available 11/1.
Other Side Bets
After pinning my Match Result outcome expectations on a victory for the Red Devils, my strongest selection for this game comes from the Both Teams to Score market. My advice is to take goals to b scored from both teams, with RedZoneSports, who currently offer the best available price of 9/13.
United are hardly a team who are catching the eye in an attacking sense recently, while Chelsea could wish to take a point from this difficult fixture and move on to more winnable games ahead, which would likely end all hopes for United reaching the top four. This means that the Reds must attack Chelsea with gusto in the game, and that intention should make the game an entertaining spectacle. The 4/1 on offer with Betfred for Manchester United to win the Match and Both Teams to Score is worth an interest.
Our final suggestion is a small punt on a 2-1 home win for Manchester United at 10/1 with 10Bet. I could be completely wrong by offering up this bet, as any result could occur in this game, with both teams not in the best of form.
- Both Teams to Score at 9/13 with RedZoneSports
- Manchester United to Win the Match and Both Teams to Score at 4/1 with Betfred
- Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea Correct Score bet at 10/1 with 10Bet