Jose Mourinho makes a return to Stamford Bridge as Man United look to end Chelsea’s unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Chelsea vs Manchester United – Premier League 2018/19
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date : Saturday, 20 October 2018
Kick-off : 12:30 PM BST
It was looking like the last match of Jose Mourinho in-charge at the Old Trafford as he watched his side go 2-0 down in the first 10 minutes of the game. The team was in shambles, the defenders had no communication between them whatsoever, the midfield had too much gap for opposition to break through, it was going all wrong for Man Utd in the first half. In the second half, it looked like a totally different team, a team with hunger, a team with desire and mostly a team with an attacking approach, something the Red Devils have been lacking this season.
Meanwhile, Chelsea continue their unbeaten form after they won 3-0 against Southampton to jump upto 2nd place in the league table. The Blues have solved most of their problems that appeared in the beginning of the season, there is a 15 metre gap between the lines, the defense is looking stable, the midfield are starting to create chances and most importantly they are starting to score goals. Although most of the issues are sorted out, the blues still lack a goal scoring no.9 in their team. Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have a combined tally of only 2 goals this season. While most goals have come from the feet of Eden Hazard, the other players need to step up as well.
An important stat to note before this game is the form of the strikers of both sides. Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata were the two most expensive strikers signed during the last season in the Premier League. Lukaku last scored for Man Utd back in September in a 2-1 win against Watford and to add to that Lukaku’s record vs the top 6 in the PL is very poor as compared to other strikers in the league. Meanwhile, Morata has scored only 3 goals in 2018. The Spaniard was signed from Real Madrid for a whopping 60 million as a replacement for Diego Costa but has failed to live up to the expectations so far.
Chelsea are expected to start in a 4-3-3 formation with Hazard Giroud and either of Willian or Pedro leading the front line.
Man United are also expected to start in a 4-3-3 formation with the trio of Rashford Lukaku and Martial likely to lead from the front.
Chelsea’s Eden Hazard will be one to watch out. The Belgian has scored seven goals in eight matches and is the top scorer in the Premier League. Maurizio Sarri has challenged Hazard to aim for 40 goals this season as he looks to break his record of scoring 20 goals in a single PL campaign. It won’t come as a surprise to see Jose Mourinho assigning players to mark Hazard.
Team News :
Maurizio Sarri revealed in his press conference that Ethan Ampadu (knee injury) has suffered a serious injury and will be ruled out.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley have minor injuries and are doubtful for the match.
Sarri indicated that Antonio Rüdiger and Matteo Kovacic have been training well and are in contention for the game.
Jose Mourinho revealed in his press conference that all players who are available will be in contention for the game.
The Red Devils have a number of players that are facing late fitness test ahead of Saturday’s clash.
Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini and Scott McTominay pulled out of International Duty due to injuries and face late fitness tests.
Diogo Dalot came off early in the second half in Portugal’s 4-2 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in the U-21 level. He too faces a late fitness test.
Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera have been progressing after they missed the last few games with injuries. Both remain doubtful for the game.
Marcos Rojo remains ruled out with a long-term injury.
Head to Head :
Chelsea and Man United have come face to face 180 times with Man United coming on top 77 times. Chelsea have been on the winning side 54 times while both teams shared points on 49 occasions.
The last encounter between the two sides in the Premier League resulted in a 2-1 victory for the Red Devils.
Match Stats :
Maurizio Sarri is seeking to become the first Chelsea manager to remain unbeaten in his first nine Premier League games, and only the Second in Premier League history.
Man United’s 3-2 victory over Newcastle was Jose Mourinho’s 400th league win in his managerial career overall, in his 597th game in charge.
Manchester United have lost more often to Chelsea than against any other opponent in the Premier League (18 games).
Man United have lost three of their last six Premier League away games (W1 D2).
Team Form :
Chelsea headed into the International break with a 3-0 victory over Southampton. The Blues are placed 2nd in the League with six wins out of eight games played and are one of the three unbeaten sides in the Premier League this season.
Chelsea last 5 matches (in all competitions) : DWDWW
Man United have been in a mixed run of form this season. Their last game against Newcastle United was a 5 goal thriller with Man United coming back from behind to win 3-2. The Red Devils are placed 8th in the league table winning four out of eight games played.
Man United last 5 matches (in all competitions) : DDLDW
Betting Preview :
In the Premier League’s early kick-off on Saturday, title-chasing Chelsea host out-of-form Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have hit the ground running under new boss Maurizio Sarri. In fact, only an inferior goal difference to leaders Manchester City is keeping the Blues off the top of the table.
In truth, we cannot see any other result than a Blues win at Stamford Bridge. Confidence is flowing at the London club, while the Red Devils head into this game having won one of their last five games in all competitions. It would take a fantastic display from United to win at Stamford Bridge.
When it comes to the goals market, we believe this could be a low scoring game. United boss Jose Mourinho has lost on his last three visits to his old stomping ground as an opposition boss, so he is likely to park the bus. However, Chelsea have been potent in attack this season, so should eventually break through a vulnerable United backline.
Talking about Chelsea’s attacking prowess brings us to Eden Hazard, who we are backing for anytime goalscorer at very attractive odds of 7/5. The odds are attractive as Hazard is bang in form.
The Belgian international has scored seven league goals this season, while also providing three assists. Mourinho has employed man-marking tactics to nullify Hazard in the past, with mixed results it has to be said.
Mourinho has previously used Ander Herrera to man-mark Hazard, but the Spaniard is a doubt for the clash. Mourinho could use somebody else in an attempt to subdue the Belgian. However, he is in such good form that we believe he will get on the scoresheet anyway.
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