Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Tips & Predictions - Saturday 8th February 2020

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Saturday 08 February 2020
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A full match preview will appear shortly before the game.

Previous Match Tips

They faced one another on the pitch but now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard will meet for the first time as managers, back at the clubs where they spent the bulk of their playing careers. Coming into this season opener, a top four finish will be the main aim for both bosses and we’ll get a first look into their credentials this Sunday at Old Trafford.

For Solskjaer, a positive start is so important given his side’s remarkable slump towards the end of the previous campaign. The pressure isn’t as firmly on Frank Lampard but the spotlight most definitely is as he faces his first ever Premier League test as manager. Pre-season results have been promising enough but none of them prepare him for what’s in store this Sunday.

This is a huge game for both bosses, all the fans and, quite probably the race for the top four. It may be the first game of the season but it could prove crucial come the final reckoning in May. Which way will it go?

Top Tips

Under 2.5 goals @ 4/5

Chelsea 1-0 @ 10/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Manchester United News: Lukaku bids farewell

Stretford End at Old Trafford in Manchester
apasciuto, flickr (Image Cropped)

The transfer saga that lasted all summer finally came to a close on Thursday as Inter officially announced the signing of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian had made no secret of his desire to move to Italy and his former club seemed just as eager to see him leave. Having been fined earlier in the week for not attending training, it’s fair to say that the striker burned many bridges as he left Old Trafford. United reportedly tried to sign Mario Mandzukic as a last minute replacement but the demanded transfer fee and salary proved too high.

United had tried to sign other forwards, including Paulo Dybala from Juventus, but all their efforts came to nought. That leaves them rather short in terms of out and out strikers and despite having a number of promising young attacking players they could well find goals hard to come by this term. The transfer business of the Red Devils continues to puzzle and their fans are unhappy to say the least, which won’t help the atmosphere in the ground for this game.

Maguire insists he’s ready to go

Harry Maguire revealed his desire to join Manchester United early on in the transfer window but negotiations over the fee delayed his move. As a result, the world’s most expensive defender missed his new club’s entire pre-season schedule but he remains hopeful of making his debut this weekend. Having taken part in several summer matches for Leicester, the £80m man insists his fitness is up to standards and he’s raring to go should Solskjaer select him.

United are not short of centre backs of course and in another puzzling bit of business, or lack of business, they failed to move on any of their seven first team players in that position. Maguire is a good player and they may finally have found a defender worth keeping but even so, failing to offload any of the others leaves their squad bloated.

Chelsea News: David Luiz departs

Chelsea Warming Up Before Match at Stamford Bridge
Mark Freeman, flickr

Perhaps the most surprising deal on transfer deadline day was the departure of David Luiz. There had been virtually no rumours regarding his future all summer but with a day to go reports linked him to a move away from Stamford Bridge, to London rivals Arsenal no less.

The £8m fee rather suggests Chelsea were desperate to get rid and rumours have been circling that the Brazilian had a large falling out with Frank Lampard. Having played 36 times for the Blues last season, his departure is a significant one but replacements are readily available.

Of course, the west London side are currently barred from making transfers, which limited their options. They still managed to bring in Mateo Kovacic as he had been on loan previously so was technically already registered with them. Christian Pulisic will also feel like a new signing having come in during the last winter window but been loaned straight out. Neither will compensate for the loss of Eden Hazard to Real though and many feel Lampard has his work cut out to make the top four this term.

Youngsters to Shine?

Chelsea have long been known for their battalion of youngsters out on loan at other clubs. This controversial policy may now finally be of use as they have been able to significantly bolster their ranks by bringing many of these players back into the fold.

Kurt Zouma isn’t so young but he will replace Luiz as one of the Blues’ centre back options. Michy Batshuayi is another returning loanee who isn’t in the flush of youth but Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James are just some of the youngsters who will hope to press for lots of game time this term.

Rudiger and Willian back training, Kante a doubt

Starting the season with seven injured or not fully fit players is far from ideal for Lampard but the situation is quickly getting better. Key defender Antonio Rudiger returned to training following a serious knee problem while Willian has shrugged off the minor issue collected during the Copa America.

Neither are expected to play this weekend but there is far greater hope that N’Golo Kante can feature. His manager remains unsure if he’ll be fully ready in time but it takes a lot to keep the resilient Frenchman out.

Analysis: Blues showing promise

Pre-season was as productive as it was busy for Frank Lampard as his new side won four of their seven tests including a thrilling 5-3 win over Salzburg. Despite waving goodbye to Eden Hazard, goals have flown easily for the Blues with Tammy Abraham, Cristian Pulisic and Mason Mount all chipping in. Confidence appears to be high at the club right now and Lampard won’t be fearing this trip to a ground he won at last season.

United to offer defensive improvements

During the last 11 matches of the previous Premier League season, United didn’t manage a single clean sheet. They’ve attempted to rectify the problem though, splashing the cash on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. Thanks to their proven top flight quality, the pair could well end up making United a far more solid unit.

More of a concern now is who can provide the end product as nobody in United’s squad has exceeded 13 league goals in a season before. Solskjaer, desperate not to suffer an opening day defeat, is hardly going to be too adventurous here either so under 2.5 goals (4/5) appears to be a sensible option between rivals who often produce tense, tight games.

Blues may edge things

We’ve spoken about United strengthening their defence but they are up against a side that has shown a great deal of fluency up front over the summer. Lampard’s men managed to find the net 13 times in their final four pre-season matches and they saw plenty of the ball inside the opposition box. Seemingly coping well without Hazard’s magic on the left flank, Chelsea may well have just enough firepower to squeeze out a narrow 1-0 win (10/1). Given their record against United over the past few years and Solskjaer’s troubles before the summer break, you can hardly say it’s not a generous price for it either.

Recent Matches

United went 12 games winless against Chelsea during a period between 2012 and 2017 but they’ve since been able to restore some parity. Now the Red Devils have won three of their last seven clashes with the Blues with two of the showdowns ending all square.

28th April 2019: Manchester United 1 – 1 Chelsea

A win for United would have seen them draw level on points with fourth placed Chelsea with just two games in the season remaining. The hosts began the must-win contest brightly as former Blue Juan Mata got himself on the scoresheet just 11 minutes in. Untied remained in control until an already under-fire David De Gea spilled a speculative 30-yard effort right into the path of Marcos Alonso. Both sides struggled to create much after this, although Marcos Rojo did have a header cleared off the line.

18th February 2019: Chelsea 0 – 2 Mancheser United

The Manchester United players suffered no ill effects of a first defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as they quickly returned to winning ways in this FA Cup fifth round bout. Paul Pogba picked out Ander Herrera to send the visitors ahead and the Frenchman grabbed a goal for himself on the stroke of half time. Failing to conjure up any sort of response after the break, Chelsea fans jeered Maurizio Sarri who branded his side’s showing as “confused” after the tie.

20th October 2018: Chelsea 2 – 2 Manchester United

Jose Mourinho returned to his former hunting ground hoping to turn United’s struggling season around. Things did not begin according to plan as 21 minutes into the contest an unchallenged Antonio Rudiger headed past De Gea. Martial’s second-half brace turned the game on its head and it looked like being enough to hand the visitors three points. With just seconds remaining however, one-time United target Ross Barkley was able to bundle the ball home, sparking scenes of wild jubilation. This swiftly led to a touchline fracas with Mourinho incensed by the celebrations of Chelsea’s technical assistant, Marco Ianni.

18th May 2018: Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United

Back in May 2018, Chelsea and Man Utd contested the FA Cup final at Wembley. It was a tight match in the capital, but Hazard’s penalty after just 22 minutes was enough to win Chelsea their eighth FA Cup trophy.

25th February 2018: Manchester United 2 – 1 Chelsea

Man Utd ran out 2-1 winners in the Premier League meeting at Old Trafford last season, with Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard getting the goals for the Red Devils. The hosts had to come from behind, though, after Willian had given the Blues the lead shortly before half time. Chelsea saw more of the ball and had more shots on goal, but United held firm to pick up all three points.

5th November 2018: Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United

It was another close game when the pair went head-to-head at Stamford Bridge in the league last term. Alvaro Morata’s excellent header 10 minutes after the break gave Antonio Conte’s Chelsea a 1-0 win over Mourinho’s United.

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