Tue, Mar 1, 9:06pm by Kevin Pitstock
This Chelsea v Manchester United clash could be season defining for both sides. A win for Chelsea and they at least look like they can stay on course to finish in the top 4 of the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League. If they are beaten, then even that might be a struggle. As for Manchester United, if they drop points here, the door opens for Arsenal to get right back into the title race. So both sides have much to play for, and they go into the match in very contrasting form.
Chelsea seem to remain an unhappy camp, with the latest claims that full-back Ashley Cole managed to shoot an intern in the buttocks at the club’s training ground – albeit by accident. On the pitch, there remains the problem of accommodating an out-of-form Fernando Torres into the starting eleven. He’s now gone a month without a goal. However, he has terrorised Nemanja Vidic in his Liverpool days.
It all adds up to two wins in the last six matches and a team where rumours about off-pitch problems abound. The positive news for Chelsea was a win in their last game in the Champions League, although it was against a Copenhagen side who were thoroughly lacking in ambition. They will face tougher competition here for sure. Despite all the negativity, Chelsea’s home record remains solid with 8 wins in 12 games, and just 8 goals conceded in the Premier League at home. Defender Yuri Zhirkov could be added to the squad.
MANCHESTER UNITED PREVIEW
United gave a big boost to their away form on Saturdy when they scored a comprehensive win over Wigan in what looked like it could be a tricky match, given the bobbly pitch. It was just a 4th victory on the road in 13 Premier League fixtures. However, they have a very poor record against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, having not won in 8 tries there since a victory in April 2002. That includes 3 draws and 5 defeats. They have also failed to score in 5 out of their last 7 league visits. United however, excel against the best sides this season, having the number one record against sides in the top half of the table.
Injuries will still deny United the services of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans, but Ryan Giggs and Michael Owen are back to offer considerable experience.
CHELSEA v MANCHESTER UNITED BEST BET & PREDICTION
There are still enough questions about Manchester United on the road to make the draw at $3.20 with Centrebet the best bet here, with our prediction a 1-1 draw.
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