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English Premier League: Chelsea v Manchester United Preview

Our football expert previews the English Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United which takes place on Saturday 20 October 2018.

The Premier League returns with a blockbuster match at Stamford Bridge where in-form Chelsea welcome Manchester United and former boss Jose Mourinho. The Blues are currently joint-leaders of the Premier League, along with Manchester City and Liverpool on 20 points from eight games, while the Red Devils are languishing in eighth place – seven points off top spot.

Will Chelsea continue where they left off? Or will United end their unbeaten run? Find out what our writer thinks. View the betting on this match on Hollywoodbets Mobile by clicking here.

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English Premier League 
Saturday 20 October  
Stamford Bridge

To Win 
Chelsea 7/10
Draw 29/10
Man United 4/1

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Chelsea have been brilliant this season under Maurizio Sarri with the Blues being the only unbeaten Premier League team across all competitions. This has been achieved with an exciting, attacking style of play known as ‘Sarri-ball’. Since the Italian arrived in July, the Londoners have won eight of their 11 matches, drawing the other two.

Sarri’s side have taken 20 points from a possible 24 in the Premier League. Prior to the international break, the Blues recorded a comfortable 3-0 win away to Southampton, with both Eden Hazard and Ross Barkley scoring and assisting, while Alvaro Morata also got on the scoresheet.

Chelsea will look to continue where they left off and collect maximum points against Mourinho’s men on Saturday. The Londoners have not lost at home to United since October 2012, losing just two of the 16 meetings between the two since then. At Stamford Bridge this season, Sarri’s side have won three of their four matches, beating Arsenal, Bournemouth and Cardiff, before sharing the spoils with Liverpool in their last home tie.

Sarri has two major decisions he need to make. The 59-year-old must decide whether to bring back Mateo Kovacic or stay with the in-form Barkley. Another big call to make is whether Morata should start ahead of Olivier Giroud. The Spaniard has scored in back-to-back matches amid hope of a return to form. He was superb in this fixture last season, leaping high to score a header that left goalkeeper David de Gea standing and sealed three points for the Blues.

Sarri will also be relying on superstar Hazard to fire his side to victory. The Belgian is currently the Premier League’s top goalscorer with seven goals. If he is at his majestic best against United, the Blues are likely to come out on top.

Manchester United
Mourinho’s United have struggled this season, collecting 13 points from their opening eight Premier League matches, sitting in eighth place – three points behind Bournemouth and five adrift of an Arsenal team in transition. The Red Devils have four wins, three losses and a draw in the league and have conceded 14 goals this season – only Fulham, Huddersfield and Cardiff have let in more goals.

Mourinho’s men have been dumped out of the League Cup by second-tier Derby County and they also failed to beat Valencia – who are 13th in La Liga with one win in eight games – at home in the UEFA Champions League at the beginning of the month, playing to a goalless draw. But a dramatic comeback 3-2 win at home to Newcastle before the international break has reduced some of the calls for Mourinho to be sacked.

The ‘Special One’ will return to Stamford Bridge, looking to mastermind a win over his former side, but it won’t be an easy task. In his three returns to London as United boss, the 55-year-old has suffered three losses. His first return to the Bridge turned out to be humiliating as Antonio Conte’s men won 4-0 and the previous two times ended in 1-0 defeats (one of those results coming in the FA Cup). United last won a league game away to Chelsea in October 2012 in a 3-2 victory when Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge.

You can still never write off United. They’ve got some world class players such as De Gea, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, but in order to win at the Bridge, they’ll all need to be playing well, which we haven’t seen much of this season.

After facing Chelsea, United will welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford as they take on Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and should they suffer back-to-back defeats – or an embarrassing loss against the Blues – it could lead to the end of Mourinho’s reign as Manchester United boss.

Prediction: Hazard to Score Anytime & Chelsea Win (19/10)
Everything points to a Chelsea win here – form, home ground advantage, head to head meetings and then there’s the form of Hazard. The full-time Chelsea win looks a top bet, but for more value, I’m going to get on the Hollywoodbets Price Boost and back Hazard to score anytime & Chelsea to win at 19/10.

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