Chelsea v Man Utd – Stamford Bridge at 16:00 live on Sky Sports 1
Jose Mourinho heads back to the Bridge this Sunday for what is the standout fixture in the Premier League this weekend. Both sides still have a lot to prove, currently a little off the pace. I’m expecting a hard fought match, with United marginally getting the better of it. They offer some real value on the Asian Handicap market.
The Blues aren’t quite firing on all cylinders yet. It will take time for Antonio Conte’s new philosophy to pay dividends. However, they are just 3 points behind league leaders Man City, but fixtures have been kind to the Pensioners.
Chelsea have won 5 of their opening 8 matches, but each of those were against teams currently in the bottom half of the table. After winning their first 3 league matches, they struggled at the Liberty Stadium against a poor Swansea side, settling for a 2-2 draw.
When facing tougher opposition, the Blues have been found wanting. They lost at home to Liverpool 2-1 then were torn apart by Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates. United may not currently be at Liverpool or Arsenal’s level on recent form, but they pose a tough test for Chelsea.
They now have a tough run of fixtures, including Utd, Everton, Spurs and City, so unless we see some improvements, they could find themselves slipping well off the pace.
Conte has some injury concerns coming into this one. John Terry is confirmed as out, with Fabregas, Willian, Oscar and Ivanovic all doubtful.
At 2.25, they are too short for me. They still have a lot to prove and with their injury concerns, it’s not going to make this match any easier.
It hasn’t been the easiest starts to life as United boss for Mourinho. With a Community Shield win and 3 victories to open his EPL campaign, it was looking good. However, the wheels have started to come off slightly.
Back to back league defeats followed, to rivals City and Watford, but some confidence was restored after thumping Leicester 4-1. In fairness though, the Foxes weren’t at the races that day and Utd have since only managed draws with Stoke and Liverpool.
Mourinho received a lot of criticism after Monday’s nights draw with the Reds, but tactically, after some poor results and performances, it was very smart of him.
Liverpool are one of the form teams in the league, the best attacking side and he contained them away from home, playing for a point. Fans may not have been pleased with the negative style, but it was a well earned draw away from home to a quality side.
I expect the Red Devils to play more positively on Sunday but offensively they are struggling somewhat. I’m sure there will be an emphasis on defence, especially coming up against a team who have scored in every home game this season. But, they should play with a bit more freedom than on Monday.
This is a difficult one to call. It will be a real tactical battle and another match Utd would probably settle for a draw from. I can’t see the visitors losing this one, Mourinho is too smart for that and they offer some value +/- 0 (Draw No Bet) on the Asian Handicap market at 2.57.
For my recommendation though, I’m backing them +0.25 at 2.05 which I am confident will see us pick up a half win. They will be confident after their result in the Europa League, where Pogba looked a lot better and they put 4 past Fenerbahce.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Man Utd +0.25 at 2.05
Prices correct at time of writing.
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