Premier League Stats: Manchester United v Chelsea
Bettorlogic delve deep into the archives to reveal the stats which might help you make the best bets in Sunday's big game...
United have a fine recent Big Four record at Old Trafford, winning seven of nine there since the start of 2005/06 (W7-D1-L1). Indeed, they were highly impressive against all opposition over 2008, dropping points only twice in seventeen home outings (W15-D1-L1).
Chelsea's very impressive 2008 away record (W15-D4-L0) didn't feature a Big Four encounter, and disguises a relatively poor recent record on the road against their closest rivals, failing to win any of their last six in the Premier League (W0-D3-L3). United have won two of the last three between these sides at Old Trafford (one drawn) and at 2.30 here, represent the value.
Both teams have scored in nine of the last 10 Big Four clashes. Indeed, all of the last five home wins have been by a 2-1 score-line, as was the last away victory (Arsenal's win at Stamford Bridge). Similarly, all of the last three draws have ended 1-1, as have eight of the 10 stale-mates since the beginning of the 2006/07 season.
Whilst United's last Big Four game at old Trafford (Arsenal last season) also ended 2-1, more often they win to nil when beating Big Four opposition, doing so in their previous seven home wins over their closest rivals, four times 2-0, twice 1-0. The fact that Chelsea have failed to score in all of their last four away Big Four defeats (2 0-1, 2 0-2) means that if you favour the home win, covering 1-0 (7.6) and 2-0 (11.5) could be a more profitable strategy. If the draw appeals, backing 1-1 (7) would also be logical.
Remarkably, Chelsea have been behind at the break in all of their last six visits to Big Four Opponents, five of them 0-1. They've recovered a point in half of them, to eventually record three Draw/Losses and three Loss/Losses. They've also been in half-time arrears (all 0-1) in each of their last three visits to Old Trafford.
However, the Champions have left things unusually late this season, starting the second-half level in four of their seven victories, despite not yet facing a Big Four Opponent. Against such opposition in the past three seasons, they've split their seven victories between four W/Ws with three D/Ws. Conflicting patterns make this a difficult market to read.
Manchester United clean sheet
United are enjoying their best ever Premier League defensive spell, not conceding since their visit to Arsenal in November, over seven games ago. They've kept 6/9 clean sheets at home to Big Four opposition in the past three seasons and 12/17 at Old Trafford Premier League games over 2008.
Chelsea's failure to score at Everton in Christmas week was their first away blank in 12 months and 18 matches. However, they previously failed to score on the road at Arsenal (their last Big Four opponent) and haven't registered in half their six Big Four away games since the Special One left. At 2.7, the United Yes looks value here.
Chelsea clean sheet
United scored in all 17 Premier League matches at Old Trafford in 2008 and have failed to score just once at home to Big Four sides in 12 matches since the start of 2004/05. Whilst Chelsea have only conceded at Fulham and Man City on the road this season, they've failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six visits to the Big Four and only twice in 15 such games since the start of the Roman Abramovich era in 2003/04. Chelsea 'No', whilst likely, is short enough at [1.32].