Chelsea faces Man Utd in the English Premier League on Saturday at Stamford Bridge. The Red Devils have a very good recent record against the Blues and have lost just once in eight Premier League matches under Erik Ten Hag. This clash is a key one in the race for a top-four finish as the team’s newly appointed, forward-thinking coaches look to lay down a marker.
A run of three defeats in five at the end of the Thomas Tuchel rein has preceded a seven-match unbeaten run under new coach Graham Potter. A 1-1 home draw with Salzburg in his opening match was followed by three successive wins, including home and away against AC Milan. Chelsea also won 2-1 at Crystal Palace and 3-0 against Wolves prior to those UEFA Champions League wins.
Since a 2-0 win at the San Siro against ten-man Milan, the Blues have won 2-0 at Aston Vila and drawn 0-0 at Brentford. Both matches saw their opponents miss a number of clear chances. Villa created 2.10 Expected Goals whilst the Bees missed three close-range headed opportunities.
Chelsea Team News
Coach Graham Potter is still without N’Golo Kante for this match in midfield whilst Reece James is also absent at right wingback. Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell should return to start in defensive areas with a 3-4-2-1 shape expected to be used as in the wins against AC Milan.
Cesar Azpilicueta or Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be at right wingback in the absence of James. In attack, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only appeared as subs against Brentford and should return to the XI. Kai Havertz is set to be dropped after some disappointing performances.
The Blues will play to win this game and dominate the proceedings. Potter has used various formations but in the tougher Champions League matches against Milan, he used a more balanced system from Thomas Tuchel’s time in charge.
Should Chelsea be drawing in the second half, expect to see Sterling move to a wide-left role with an extra attacker introduced. And should the hosts be leading, Potter could add extra central midfielders to manage the game.
Man Utd Form
Eric Ten Hag has Man Utd in very good form. Their last eight Premier League fixtures have seen just one defeat, the 6-3 Manchester derby humiliation against City. The Dutch coach has won four league matches in a row prior to that defeat, including against both Liverpool (2-1) and Arsenal (3-1). The sides have won four of their five matches in all competitions since the derby defeat.
They beat Omonia Nicosia home and away in the Europa League and won 2-1 at Everton at the notoriously difficult Goodison Park. A 0-0 home draw with Newcastle came next before a fine performance to beat Tottenham 2-0 at home. The Red Devils put up 28 shots with 10 on target in a totally dominant display.
Man Utd Team News
It could be an unchanged Man Utd XI against Chelsea. That means no place for Cristiano Ronaldo up front with Marcus Rashford leading the line for his greater pace and energy. With Harry Maguire injured and out of favour, it’ll be Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane at the back.
With Fred and Casemiro dovetailing well in midweek, Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen are set to remain among the subs. Anthony Martial is edging towards fitness to increase options in the front three.
Man Utd Motivation
United come into this match just one point behind Chelsea, meaning there are especially motivated to win this match at Stamford Bridge.
Ten Hag’s big game approach is about energy and fast transitions but they can also dominate opponents in periods of matches as shown against Spurs.
Chelsea are winless in their last 9 PL matches against Manchester United
Chelsea have kept 5 clean sheets in a row (all comps)
Chelsea have drawn 3 of their last 7 home PL matches
Man Utd have kept a clean sheet in 4 each of their last 6 PL meetings with Chelsea
The last 4 matches between these sides have ended in draws (all under 2.5 goals)
Ronaldo has scored just 2 goals in 16 apps against Chelsea (1 in 11 PL matches)
United have lost just 1 of their last 8 PL matches
Both sides are in good form right now and look pretty solid defensively for the most part. With four draws in a row between these teams, another stalemate looks like excellent value. Man Utd are a bit of a bogey side for the Blues of late and have enough to leave with a point.
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at 1.86
Alternative Bet: Chelsea win by a goal at 3.60Value Bet: Draw at 3.35
Multiplier Leg: Man Utd/Draw double chance + under 3.5 goals at 2.40
Correct Score Tip: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd at 6.25