The English Premier League serves up another vital clash this weekend as 2nd place Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge in search of 3 points in an attempt to gain top spot over current leaders Manchester City. This is also an important game for Chelsea who have struggled to find form and a win here is much needed in their attempts to retain a top 4 finish.
Chelsea are coming off another disappointing result as they drew 1-1 with Swansea City on Tuesday night. They escaped their FA Cup 4th round clash with a narrow 1-0 win against QPR last weekend. There was not much to write home about in that match as they yet again failed to raise their poor form. Their goal came from a poor referring decision as Daniel Sturridge dived forward after being nudged from a Juan Mata cross. Mata made no mistake from the penalty spot to put Chelsea through to the last 16 of the tournament.
Man United 7/4
Chelsea were dealt a blow with Ramires suffering an injury that will keep him out till the end of February however, Frank Lampard, Jon Obi Mikel and Michael Essien will all be available for selection after recently returning from injuries. The return of Essien could be the spark to reignite Chelsea into form and spur players like Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres to their potential. New signing Gary Cahill could be preferred over David Luiz alongside John Terry to deal with United’s attacking threat.
Manchester United are now joint top of the table with rivals Manchester City after beating Stoke City 2-0 at Old Trafford. They completely outplayed the visitors and were awarded two penalties that Javier Hernandes and Dimitar Berbatov slotted home comfortably. They now face a tough task to keep the pressure on City with Liverpool visiting Old Trafford next weekend before this away travel to Stamford Bridge. Two big plusses for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team is the return of key players Wayne Rooney and Nani. The pair are arguably Manchester United’s best attacking players and a win at Stamford Bridge will be more likely with them in the starting line-up.
United’s FA Cup defeat at Anfield last weekend was a disappointing one after dominating possession but failing to break Liverpool’s resilient defence and create enough goal scoring opportunities. David De Gea was once again in the spotlight with a weak performance. His nervous presence behind the defence was perhaps the biggest factor in the defeat, and the decision by Ferguson to play him in such an intimidating environment was surprising from a manager of his calibre. With the more solid figure of Anders Lindegaard out with an ankle injury the Spaniard should be back between the stick after missing Tuesday nights clash with Stoke due to an illness.
VERDICT: DRAW 9/4
Manchester United have won the last 3 encounters against Chelsea. However, Stamford Bridge should prove a tougher task this time. The draw is tipped.
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Written by @Wayde_D for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
Prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices are subject to change.