Manchester United meet Chelsea in Saturday evening's Premier League highlight and Mark O'Haire is expecting an enjoyable match at Old Trafford...
"The Blues will hope to improve upon a poor return against the Premier League’s elite last term"
Manchester United v Chelsea
Saturday October 24, 17:30
Man Utd impress in Paris
Manchester United impressed in midweek with a surprise 2-1 success away at Paris St-Germain in their opening group game of the Champions League. The visitors had excelled in a first half which saw Bruno Fernandes stroke them ahead with a twice-taken penalty, and after conceding an unfortunate own goal, Marcus Rashford's superb strike sealed victory.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's came under plenty of second half pressure from PSG - David de Gea was forced into numerous strong saves - but United always looked threatening in transition and on the counter. And as the sides looked set to share the points, Rashford collected the ball, rolled away from a defender and fired in off the base of the post from 20 yards.
Without captain Harry Maguire, United played a back five - with defender Axel Tuanzebe being summoned from the wilderness and shining on his first appearance of 2020, as did Alex Telles on his full debut. Anthony Martial is suspended for Saturday's showdown but Solskjaer's expecting to have Maguire, Mason Greenwood and Edison Cavani available.
Chelsea keep rare clean sheet
Chelsea opened their Champions League account with a goalless against Sevilla at Stamford Bridge with new first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy earning rave reviews for a fine performance between the sticks. In a game of few clear-cut chances, the Senegal international produced an excellent save to claw away Nemanja Gudelj's header.
Mendy's intervention came at a pivotal moment in the game and Frank Lampard reserved special praise for his recent signing post-match. At the other end, the Blues failed to score for only the second time in eight games this season, whilst accumulating just six shots, the fewest attempts Chelsea have managed in a Champions League tie since February 2015.
The match marked the Blues' first goalless draw under Lampard and saw Thiago Silva return to a defence that also featured Rhys James, Kurt Zouma and Ben Chilwell. Speaking afterwards, Lampard said, "The clean sheet was a big deal for us. Seville are a top team in European football. The concentration and focus to get the result was big from the team."
Both sides searching for consistency
Manchester United are looking to win three consecutive top-flight meetings against Chelsea for the first time since September 1965 under Matt Busby. The Red Devils are also unbeaten in their last seven home Premier League ties with the Blues (W3-D4-L0), the club's longest unbeaten stretch at Old Trafford against the capital club since 1957.
Man Utd 2.546/4 are looking to avoid losing their first three home games of a league season for only the second time in history here. However, the Red Devils should take encouragement from two positive performances over the past week; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's outfit were rampant at Newcastle and eye-catching in Paris as they returned to winning ways.
Chelsea 2.8615/8 spent £250m during the summer transfer window, with five of their recent additions starting in midweek. Naturally, it will take time for Frank Lampard's troops to find their feet and the Blues will hope to improve upon a poor return against the Premier League's elite last term. The visitors managed just W3-D2-L5 against top-six finishers.
Expect a goal-glut at Old Trafford
Since the start of last season, Chelsea's away Premier League games have seen more goals than any other side in the competition (87), with the Blues shipping more goals on the road than any other Premier League side in that time (42). With a huge 18 (81%) of those matches breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, it's no surprise to see a repeat just 1.664/6.
A very chunky 17 (81%) of those games have also delivered in the Both Teams To Score market and we can bolster the odds on offer by combining the two selections via Betfair Sportsbook's Same Game Multi market for a more attractive price of 1.804/5 ahead of Saturday evening's encounter from Old Trafford. If you place a SGM bet on this game you'll get a free £10 Sportsbook bet (details below).
Both angles are well supported on the Man Utd side too with 13/21 (62%) of the Red Devils' home Premier League outings also paying out for Over 2.5 Goals hunters, as well as BTTS punters when going back to the beginning of 2019/20.
Mark's 2020/21 Profit/Loss
Staked: 17.00 pts
Returned: 20.37 pts
P/L: +3.37 pts
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