Chelsea vs. Manchester United - England Premier Matchday 24, Stamford Bridge, London, England, 10AM EST, Sunday February 5, 2012
By Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: Chelsea 2.48 / Manchester United 2.84 / Draw 3.25
Moneyline: Chelsea +148 / Manchester United +152 / Draw +184
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Chelsea is still in 3rd place in the England Premier League, but they have blown some golden chances to move up in the league table in their last few matches. Their last 2 EPL matches have ended in draws and while their defense has played well their offense has stalled and they have only scored 3 goals in their last 4 matches.
Manchester United is tied with Manchester City for first place in the EPL and they both have 54 points with Chelsea at 42 points. It is pretty basic for the Blues, as this is a must win match if they are going to have any chance to win the league title.
While Chelsea has been struggling Manchester United is surging, as they have won their last 3 league matches. Also, unlike Chelsea the Man U offense has been playing well and they have scored 7 goals in their last 3 matches.
This season Manchester United has scored the 2nd most goals in the EPL and they have also conceded the 2nd fewest.
These 2 clubs played on September 18th at Old Trafford and in that Match Man U beat Chelsea 3-1. Chelsea cannot afford even a draw in this match, as they need a win over their hated rival.
Manchester United has been winning, but all is not good with the club. They lost their top 2 goalies of Anders Lindegaard and David De Gea in practice recently and are now down to 3rd string G Ben Amos. Amos played well in Man U’s last 2-0 win over Stoke City, but this Chelsea match will only be his 2nd EPL start and he will be facing a Blues’ offense that has many scoring options.
Wayne Rooney (13 goals) and Nani (6 goals) were both injured and did not play in the Stoke City match, but each should be ready to go for Chelsea. However, Ashley Young is unlikely to play in this match.
The main reason that the Blues are still in the EPL race is their defense and the solid play of G Petr Cech. He has 4 clean sheets in Chelsea’s last 5 matches and he will have to play well against a great Man U offense. He is playing well, but I do not think he will be adding to his clean sheet total.
Frank Lampard (9 goals) and Daniel Sturridge (9 goals) have led the Blues’ offense this season, but they will need help in this match. Last season’s 50 million Euro transfer Fernando Torres has gone over 1,000 minutes without finding the back of the net and star Didier Drogba may not play after getting back recently from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
With the likes of Rooney, Javier Hernndez (7 goals), Dimitar Berbatov (7 goals), and Nani Man U will not be denied, as they will score at least 2 goals in this match.
In their last 10 matches Chelsea has an Over/Under 2.5 goal total of 4-6 and Manchester United is at 8-2.
Chelsea Recent Form:
1/31/2012 Swansea City 1 Chelsea 1 (EPL)
1/28/2012 Queens Park Rangers 0 Chelsea 1 (FA Cup)
1/21/2012 Norwich City 0 Chelsea 0 (EPL)
1/14/2012 Chelsea 1 Sunderland 0 (EPL)
1/8/2012 Chelsea 4 Portsmouth 0 (FA Cup)
Manchester United Recent Form
1/31/2012 Manchester United 2 Stoke City 0 (EPL)
1/28/2012 Liverpool 2 Manchester United 1 (FA Cup)
1/22/2012 Arsenal 1 Manchester United 2 (EPL)
1/14/2012 Manchester United 3 Bolton Wanderers 0 (EPL)
1/8/12 Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3 (FA Cup)
Jason’s Pick to Win: The Blues’ offense will be facing Man U’s 3rd string G, but I think their offensive struggles will continue. They are simply not playing well and with Man U coming to town that is not a good thing. Manchester City will come out from the opening whistle and play well and win this match by a score of 3-1.