Chelsea V Manchester United
Sunday 7th February. 4PM. Sky Sports 1
This week’s Super Sunday sees two of the Premier League’s big boys come head to head in a fascinating battle at Stamford Bridge. But for once, it’s unlikely to have any impact on the title race whatsoever.
Chelsea and Manchester United have both suffered difficult campaigns, but this is still a huge fixture for both sides as they look to salvage something from their respective campaigns. But which of the Dutch managers will come out on top?
Blues Back On Track?
The champions were a little underwhelming in their 0-0 draw at Watford on Wednesday, but a 10-game unbeaten run suggests that Guus Hiddink has at least instilled some sense of confidence since replacing Jose Mourinho. And the Blues could fire a real signal of intent by beating their former title rivals here.
It’s still far from perfect at Stamford Bridge and the news of John Terry’s impending exit will only cause further disruption. However, the Blues will be pleased to see Diego Costa scoring once more while Oscar, Cesc Fabregas and other key players are starting to look like their former selves too.
Chelsea would still like to see more form Eden Hazard. Last year’s PFA Player of the Year is still yet to score a league goal, although he did convert a penalty in last week’s cup win over MK Dons. Meanwhile, if Alexandre Pato features, then a debut goal could kickstart a resurrection for the former AC Milan star.
The Blues haven’t lost in nine head-to-head meetings against the Red Devils. If they make it 10 here, their bid for Europa League qualification might just be back on.
Red Devils Out To Keep Top 4 Hopes Alive
It hasn’t been the the best of seasons for Manchester United either and Louis van Gaal looks almost certain to receive the chop before next summer. The Red Devils have improved since the turn of the year, though, and will still hold high hopes of securing Champions League football next season.
However, the Red Devils enter the weekend sitting five points adrift of the top four and could lose further ground by the time kick-off arrives. Whilst a win at Stamford Bridge isn’t a fair demand, the visitors can consider this a game that they can afford to lose. If captain Wayne Rooney continues his recent revival, that might just fall within their remit.
The 30-year-old has hit seven in his last seven, and has also thrown a couple of fantastic assists into the mix. If he and Anthony Martial can find space in the final third, the Red Devils might just seal their most important win of the season, especially if David De Gea continues his consistent heroics between the sticks.
It might not be a title-decider, but it should still be an intriguing battle at the bridge.
Chelsea V Manchester Untied Betting
With home advantage on their side, resurgent Chelsea are the favourites with Bet365 at odds of 21/20. However, Manchester United haven’t been ruled at 11/4. Meanwhile the draw is available at 9/4.
Neither side can be overly confident heading into this one and, while both will want to win, the main focus may be on avoiding defeat rather than chasing the victory.
With this, and the fact only three players on the pitch have scored five goals this season, in mind, it’s hard to see it being a seven-goal thriller. We’re backing the under 2.0 goal line. If there’s less than two goals we win. If there’s exactly two, we’ll receive a refund.
Under 2.0 Goal line @ 21/20 with Bet365
While we don’t think there will be many goals, we should still expect to see a few chances at either end. It wouldn’t be at all surprising if one of the goalkeepers puts in a man of the match performance.
Right now, you’d have to fancy that to come from De Gea, especially as Chelsea are the home side and will need to create a little more than the Red Devils. As an outside bet, the Spaniard has to be worth a punt on this market.
Man of the Match: David De Gea @ 12/1 with Paddy Power