Sunday 5th November. 4:30PM. Sky Sports
The second part of Super Sunday sees title-rivals Chelsea and Manchester United do battle at Stamford Bridge once more. And if it lives up to the billing, we won’t be forgetting this November 5th in a hurry.
Will Jose Mourinho haunt his former club or can the champions turn the corner after a difficult few weeks under an unsettled Antonio Conte? Whatever happens, it should be thrilling from start to end.
Champions Can’t Afford To Lose More Ground
Depending on the earlier result at the Etihad, Chelsea could start this showdown a huge 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City. If that is how things develop, a win is the only outcome that will do. Unfortunately, recent evidence would suggest that this could be beyond their reach.
The Blues have been uncharacteristically poor at the Bridge, winning just two of five Premier League fixtures so far. While the champions dominated their opponents last term, things look vastly different this time around. The sale of Nemanja Matic to their rivals has been significant while the N’Golo Kante’s race to be fit is another potential setback.
Without that midfield solidarity, Chelsea were frequently exposed against Roma in midweek. The embarrassing manner of that defeat, along with the many uncertainties around the team will give the home crowd a lot to fear.
Still, a team with the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro, and Alvaro Morata should not be ruled out lightly, especially against a team that has problems of its own.
Can United Make A Statement?
It wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but a 1-0 win over Spurs has kept Mourinho’s men firmly in the title conversation. A positive result in the capital would truly underline their credentials and, while they’d probably settle for a draw, there is an opportunity for them to seek all three points.
The visitors do have questions to answer in the middle of the park, though. The absence of Paul Pogba has disrupted their intensity going forward while Marouane Fellaini has been a bigger loss than many would have imagined. Still, Matic and Ander Herrera are more than capable of performing to the highest standard.
Matic isn’t the only former Blue looking to make a big impression. Romelu Lukaku’s ability against the best sides has been questioned, and a return to the capital offers a chance to prove those doubters wrong in style. Meanwhile, the youthful energy of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford is sure to give the visitors a good chance of causing problems.
This is a battle between two very strong sides, who each have their shortcomings too. It’s one that could go either way. Whatever happens, we should have a clearer indication about their respective title aspirations before half past six.
Chelsea v Manchester United Betting
Ladbrokes have established Chelsea as the pre-game favourites but odds of 16/11 suggest that they aren’t overly confident. Manchester United can be backed at 2/1 while the draw is available at 21/10.
Both sides are more than capable of producing the goods, and it might come down to who wants it more. Right now, it feels as though Conte is a broken man living on borrowed time. If Mourinho sniffs out any weakness in his opponent, there’s a strong chance he’ll capitalise.
The visitors are unlikely to go all out attack, and will probably aim to nick it. We think that they are more than capable of doing it to register a win and a shutout.
If Mourinho does come back to haunt his former club, it might be one of his ex-Chelsea stars that does the damage too.
Juan Mata and Matic will both be eager to perform well, but it’s Lukaku who’ll be desperate for a goal. We’re backign the big Belgian to open the scoring on Sunday.