Chelsea vs Manchester United preview, betting tips and prediction: Mourinho to set stall out on Stamford Bridge return
Draw and under 2.5 goals @ 13/5 with Betfair
Chelsea to win 2-1 @ 9/1 with Betfair
Draw in both halves @ 7/2 with Betfair
Manchester United travel to Chelsea on Sunday hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s score in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge. In Jose Mourinho’s first return to the club he had two successful spells with, his side were humiliated 4-0 by a team that would go on to be champions. The result, and the home fans singing Antonio Conte’s name, was symbolic because it finally felt like the Blues had moved past Mourinho’s era, something they had struggled to do for around a decade.
Mourinho is a tactical master when it comes to approaching these big games. He knows how to get a result and looks to keep things tight in defence, with last year’s result on his mind, he may well be extra cautious. But on the flipside of the argument, Manchester City are already five points clear at the top of the Premier League and winning the title is the main aim so they do need the win.
We are backing a draw in this one.
Chelsea could hardly be coming into this game off the back of a worse result after losing 3-0 at Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday night. It was not the first time they have struggled defensively and the rigid shape, which proved the bedrock of their success last season was nowhere to be seen. Issues at the back have crept in recently and it can hardly be a coincidence that N’Golo Kante has been missing since, having injured himself on international duty with France. Overall, Chelsea are not doing too badly; they may sit fifth but a win on Sunday will take them just two points behind United.
Mourinho showed what he is all about with the victory over Tottenham last week. It was hardly a classic, but he used the same tactic he always does in games like this; sitting deep and attempting to win the game late on. Anthony Martial proved the difference in that game but it was a well timed victory. After a great start to the season, United have stumbled lately, losing their last away game 2-1 at newly-promoted Huddersfield.
The main news ahead of this game is the fact Kante is still locked in a race to be fit. It doesn’t look likely that he will make it having missed the defeat in midweek. Victor Moses is another who remains out, meaning Davide Zappacosta could deputise in the right wing-back position. Alvaro Morata has fully recovered from his hamstring trouble meaning Antonio Conte should have a very strong squad to choose from on Sunday. Pedro and Willian are fighting it out to play alongside Eden Hazard in the playmaker roles behind the striker.
Manchester United have deeper troubles in their squad. Paul Pogba remains out with a hamstring problem that did not look overly serious when first suffered in the Champions League against Basel last week. Marouane Fellaini is also out, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rojo are among the long-term absentees. Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and for the first time Nemanja Matic are all in line to feature against their old clubs.