Sunday 16th April. 4PM. Sky Sports 1
The pick of the Easter weekend schedule comes live from the Theatre of Dreams as two Premier League greats renew their rivalry in what could be a crucial contest for both.
While the Red Devils aim to keep their top four hopes alive, the Blues are looking to take another giant leap towards the title. Throw in the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and his former employers, and it should be set to be explosive.
Someone will enjoy the perfect afternoon at the Theatre of Dreams, but which team will it be?
Red Devils Unbeaten In 21
Mourinho’s men might be sitting outside of the current top four, but they do boast the division’s longest unbeaten streak. A run of 21 games stretches way back to the humiliating 4-0 loss at Stamford Bridge, and they’ll be determined to make amends at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have dropped silly points along the way, but that’s mainly been due to a lack of cutting edge. Their overall play in the other two thirds has largely been positive, which makes them one of the few teams capable of genuinely giving the visitors a run for their money. Nonetheless, they will need to be at their best to stand any chance of securing the points in this one.
Thursday’s trip to Belgium may throw a spanner into the works, especially after conceding late on, but the hosts still have plenty of talent within their ranks. A positive start will be essential. If they do that, though, they’ll have every chance of securing a good result.
The league won’t be their only chance of qualifying for next year’s Champions League. This game is a great chance to give their top four hopes a boost, however, and also means far more to Mourinho than just three points. Expect a bug performance from the hosts.
Champions Elect Closing On Title
Antonio Conte’s men might have suffered a temporary blip, but that only lasted one game. Back-to-back victories over Manchester City and Bournemouth have put them back on track to clinch the title with ample time to spare. Even a draw at Old Trafford will keep them as the overwhelming favourites.
The Blues have been particularly strong at the back, conceding just 25 all times all season. With the additional protection offered by N’Golo Kante, their defensive unit will be quietly confident about frustrating the hosts, who have struggled against far lesser teams. Nonetheless, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co. are more than capable of causing problems.
Thankfully for the visitors, their attacking unit is just as strong – if not better. Eden Hazard has probably been the best attacking player in the division this term while Diego Costa and others will pose a continued threat also.
A trip to Old Trafford is never easy, especially when the hosts are in desperate need of points. If they perform to their best, though, the champions should thrive.
Manchester United V Chelsea Betting
With home advantage on United’s side, the bookies are struggling to establish a clear favourite. 888sport make the hosts 8/5 while the visitors are priced 17/10. Alternatively, the draw can be backed at 11/5.
It’s hard to overlook the quality of both attacking units, even if the defences are pretty good too. Even though the Red Devils have failed to score in two trips to Stamford Bridge this term, they should find the target on home turf.
That doesn’t dismiss the fact that Chelsea should score too. Can at least one of them grab a second or more. At odds of over 6/4, we’d certainly like to think so.
United are capable of scoring and are probably capable of winning too. Having said that, Chelsea have far less pressure on them while the visitors have also had more time to prepare. With this in mind, we’re backing the visitors to end United’s unbeaten run.
They’re unlikely to thrash the Red Devils, but they could win with a fairly comfortable margin of victory. At 28/1, we’re going for a small stake on 3-1 to the visitors.