Chelsea v Man Utd: Hazard can sour Mourinho's mood further
Dave Tindall looks at Saturday's early kick-off at Stamford Bridge and says Chelsea can continue their impressive start with victory over Manchester United...
"Sarri has his team full of confidence and I only see this fixture going one way – home win. That said, for all their problems, United have averaged two goals per game on the road this season."
Chelsea v Man Utd
Saturday October 20, 12:30
Chelsea riding high
Chelsea went into the second international break tied on 20 points with Manchester City and Liverpool, their goal difference of +13 slotting them between the two title favourites.
Like those two rivals, they're unbeaten with six wins and two draws and some punters are taking Maurizio Sarri's pressure-easing statements that they're still way behind City and Liverpool with a pinch of salt.
If Chelsea are the real deal, we'll know more after fixtures like this - even though it's one where they traditionally have the edge.
Perhaps, though, the fast start is down to the simple fact of Chelsea boasting the best player in the Premier League. After an excellent World Cup, Eden Hazard has become the player many thought he should be - a world-class attacking talent who scores bundles of goals.
Until he shows signs of a dip/is sidelined by injury/moves to Real Madrid, the Belgian looks capable of carrying Chelsea into a sustained title challenge.
Timing not good for Red Devils
Manchester United know all about turning points. A quick google of Mark Robins ensures that.
So, 2-0 down to Newcastle United inside 10 minutes and with Jose Mourinho's job surely on the line, did they write a modern-day chapter by turning it around to beat Newcastle 3-2?
Some may buy into that argument; others view events at Old Trafford two weekends ago as nothing more than papering over the cracks.
If Mourinho was hoping to build on that result, events have gone against him. The international break stopped United building up a sudden head of steam and now they have to deal with a bang-in-form rival who usually turns them over.
Smiles are hard to find from the Portuguese manager at the best of times; at Stamford Bridge, where he's lost three out of three as United boss, his mood usually darkens further.
Chelsea look worthy favourites
Chelsea are [1.79] to bank another three points while Man Utd are [5.2]. The Draw is [3.95].
The Blues have won 10 and drawn five of their last 16 home Premier League games against United while post-Fergie the visitors have returned to Manchester on the end of defeat five times out of six.
More recent away form also goes against the Mancunians as they've lost eight of their last 13 top-flight games in London while this season they've lost two of four on the road.
United pulled a rabbit out of the hat when, again, coming from 2-0 down to beat Man City 3-2 last season and delay their local rivals' title celebrations and, against top six opposition last term, their record of W2, D1, L2 was decent enough.
But Chelsea will have no sense of fluffing their lines like City did. Sarri has his team full of confidence and I only see this fixture going one way - home win.
Further options to get with hosts
Chelsea have won this fixture 1-0, 1-0 and 4-0 in the last three seasons so the win to nil option looks decent at [3.05].
It seems quite a jump from the win price given that the home side have conceded just two goals in the last six games, one of those a 'worldie' from Daniel Sturridge.
That said, for all their problems, United have averaged two goals per game on the road this season and have scored in all five away matches. Make-ups: 2-2-2-3-1.
It's a very similar price, [3.0], for Chelsea -1 on the handicap. Sarri's troops have scored easy wins over strugglers Cardiff, Huddersfield and Southampton but they've won by a single goal five times already this season.
The bet I like beyond the basic Chelsea win price is that the Stamford Bridge men get the victory whilst conceding.
Chelsea to Win and Both teams to Score is 5/2 with the Sportsbook.
With seven goals in the Premier League this season, Eden Hazard leads the race for the Golden Boot by two. Add in another in the League Cup and two for his country and he's in double figures already.
Hazard's penalty gave Chelsea victory over United in last season's FA Cup final while he also scored in the 4-0 romp against the Red Devils a couple of seasons ago and bagged the winner in another 1-0 Premier League victory in April 2015.
He's 5/4 (Sportsbook) to find the net again and 4/1 to score first. There's an obvious way to cash in on Chelsea and Hazard's flying form though.
Check out Hazard to score in a Chelsea victory in the Same Game Multi market and you'll get 2.02/1. It landed at Wembley back in May and also twice in the last three Premier League meetings between the pair at Stamford Bridge.
And, of course, this year we're witnessing the new and improved Hazard.
As for United, their 10 away goals this season have been split like this: 4 Romelu Lukaku, 3 Paul Pogba, 1 Chris Smalling, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.
Lukaku is 5/2 and Pogba 5/1. I think United will register so Pogba looks the value.
Dave Tindall's P/L, 2018/19