Manchester United v Chelsea
Live on Sky Sports 1
A draw away from home is never a bad result in a knockout competition and Manchester United look well placed to find a way past Anderlecht in the Europa League, but there's no doubt Thursday night went down as an opportunity missed. The Red Devils were dominant for long spells in Belgium, only to be hit by a late sucker punch that frustrated Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese laid into his forwards after the match and for good reason: yet again, United failed to translate their possession into clear-cut opportunities. It's been a common refrain, not least in the Premier League, in the series of home draws that have kneecapped their top-four hopes. Yes, United are unbeaten in 21 league games, but they've only won 11 of those.
With the return leg against Anderlecht coming up, Mourinho will surely be tempted to rotate. But there's also personal pride at stake, meaning we should probably not expect wholesale changes.
The league leaders have put the defeat to Crystal Palace in the rear-view mirror with victories over Manchester City and Bournemouth, meaning their grip on the title is tightening. With a seven-point advantage heading into the home straight, the Blues would need to self-destruct to let it slip now.
The defensive solidity that provided the foundations for their initial romp to the summit may have ebbed away slightly - their last clean sheet in the league came almost three months ago - but there is a grinding savvy about Antonio Conte's side that makes them worthy pace-setters.
Conte has no major injury concerns ahead of Sunday's game, and with a week's preparation under their belt, the Blues will be eyeing their third win over United this term.
United are [2.82] favourites to pick up maximum points at Old Trafford, but there's plenty of reason to be sniffy about that price. United haven't won any of the last eight Premier League games between the sides, for a start (D4 L4), and 16 home games in the league this term have yielded a measly six victories.
A rested Chelsea are worthy of serious consideration at [2.96], therefore, with the draw at [3.2]. The best play, though, is backing the visitors Draw No Bet at [2.05]; that way, you get your stake back if the spoils are shared.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
United have tended towards the unders, especially at home: only three of their last ten games at Old Trafford gave produced three goals of more. Their best strategy is probably keeping things tight here, so this might not be a thriller.
Add in that fact that United have scored just three in their last ten meetings with Chelsea (all competitions) and the unders certainly holds some appeal at [1.71].
If you fancy Chelsea to take another step towards the title, there may be value to be had in the Winning Margin market. Four of their last five wins have all been by a single goal and odds of around [4.0] on a repeat here will tempt.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as ever, looks the best pick for United and is available at [2.38] to notch. But given the risk of rotation, it may be more prudent to turn to the away side in search of a goalscorer bet.
Eden Hazard is the man in form for Chelsea, having scored four goals in his last five matches. The Belgian often saves his best displays for the big matches - he has scored home and away against Man City this term and found the net against Man United at Stamford Bridge - and looks a solid bet at [3.2].
Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2016/17
P/L: +15.83pts (39.57% ROI)
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