IT’S the headline match of the weekend. Who does Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) fancy in the Stamford Bridge clash?
Chelsea v Man Utd | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports 1
This match could have been really interesting if Chelsea had dropped points against Stoke and/or QPR in the last fortnight but they grinded the wins out. Because of that, I think they’ll be happy to sacrifice two points here.
There’s no doubt Manchester United come into this match on a high. It’s as high as they’ve been under Louis Van Gaal after three recent swashbuckling wins over Top 4 rivals Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.
But there’s no escaping the fact their away form is a real step down from their Old Trafford performances. The Red Devils sit eighth in the away table and you’d have to say their win at Anfield last month was their first positive performance on the road since they beat QPR in January.
Are you willing to forgive all their away ills after just one good performance on their travels? I’m not. Well, sort of not. I’m sure we’ll see a stronger display than their last but one game away from home, a fortunate 1-0 win at Newcastle.
Let’s not forget Chelsea’s dominant home profile. Only, err Bradford, have won at Stamford Bridge this season and you can’t count that. In the league they’re P15 W12 D3 L0 and have conceded just seven goals.
But while United’s performance levels have climbed in recent weeks, Chelsea’s have definitely slipped. They haven’t won a game by more than one goal for three months and even three of their last five home performances in the league have been draws. Like a smart horse with a decent lead in it’s race, Chelsea are easing down as the finishing line approaches.
It’s always an unusual position to be in but I can’t see past a draw here. The euphoria of United’s recent performances should push them towards a strong performance, but with their injuries and average away record I cannot back them at 10/3.
It’s questionable whether Chelsea have enough in the tank to take the three points but defeat is unthinkable with Jose Mourinho up against his old master.
Like me the bookmakers are feeling the draw love as the best price is just 5/2. I usually like playing around the 14/5 mark in these cases, so I’ll plump for the 6/1 on the 1-1 draw. You’re aware of Chelsea’s formidable home defensive record but Van Gaal’s men have now scored in their last 13 games.
Chelsea v Man Utd – 1-1 Draw (6/1 Coral)
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