- Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Monday
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have won their previous two meetings this season
- Get the odds, analysis and best bet for this Premier League Matchday 26 game below
Manchester United travel to west London to face Chelsea on Monday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are six points behind their hosts, and are in desperate need of a victory at Stamford Bridge if they are to keep their top four hopes alive. The teams have already met twice this season, with United winning on both occasions, but sportsbooks’ odds favor Chelsea on Matchday 26.
Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba remain sidelined for United, though Solskjaer could have January signing Odion Ighalo available after coronavirus concerns. Nemanja Matic will return to the squad after a ban, but Scott McTominay is unlikely to be ready in time.
Christian Pulisic is still unavailable for Frank Lampard. Tammy Abraham is expected to start despite playing through injury before the winter break.
Manchester United vs Chelsea Odds
|Chelsea||-0.5 (-120)||-118||O 2.5 (-118)|
|Manchester United||+0.5 (-102)||+295||U 2.5 (-102)|
Odds taken Feb. 13
Chelsea to Dominate Possession
The gameplan for Manchester United will be the same as their previous two matches: Let Chelsea have the ball and break quickly.
Rashford’s absence makes the counter-attack less threatening, but this allows United to play to their strengths and expose a Chelsea defense that has been prone to error all season long. Chelsea had over 65% of the ball in the 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford on Matchday 1. That number dropped to 54% in their League Cup duel, when Lampard named a rotated team.
Mid-season training camp: day 5⃣
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 13, 2020
The hosts will likely have over 60% of possession again – only Liverpool and Manchester City average more possession than the Blues.
Jorginho, assuming he starts ahead of Mateo Kovacic, will be vital. New United signing Bruno Fernandes will have an important role pressing the former Napoli midfielder.
Stopping Reece James
Lampard has favored Reece James at right-back in recent matches with Cesar Azpilicueta on the left. James is an immense talent and one of the best crossers in the league. Chelsea heavily favors their right side as a result, though, with Azpilicueta awkward attacking down the left and Callum Hudson-Odoi wanting to cut inside.
Nearly half of Chelsea’s shots in their last two Premier League matches have come from the right. With Willian likely to return on the right flank, their attack will be focused down that side of the pitch once again.
– Reece James RB
– Loftus Cheek RCM
– Hudson Odoi RW
A right hand side which I'm patiently waiting to see at Chelsea Football Club. Really could be something special for years to come at our club.
— Mitchell (follow & like limit) (@CFCMitch7) February 11, 2020
Solskjaer has used Luke Shaw as a left-sided center-back of late, with youngster Brandon Williams playing as the wing-back. The oft-criticized Shaw and impressive, albeit inexperienced, Williams are in for a serious examination.
Chelsea have struggled against deep defenses this season. Keeping James quiet is important for United as they look to limit supply to Abraham, who will be revitalized after a few days off.
Manchester United vs Chelsea Premier League Statistics
|45 yellows, 0 reds||Cards||47 yellows, 0 reds|
|16.3||Shots per match||14.9|
|59%||Shots inside the area||45%|
|47.25||Understat expected points||45.17|
Rest Favors Chelsea
Chelsea have looked like a team that needed the winter break. Their younger players have looked heavy-legged following an intense Christmas schedule. With a huge run of matches coming up (they face Tottenham and Bayern Munich in their next two), the importance of this game cannot be overstated for Lampard.
It’s crucial for Solskjaer too. Despite winning both earlier in the season, there’s no doubt that United rode their luck in those matches. Chelsea missed plenty of opportunities, and United were incredibly clinical. Rashford starred in those two victories, and a lot falls on the shoulders of Anthony Martial on Monday as a result.
Abraham has scored once in his last five starts, but the England international remains the focal point of this Chelsea attack. With service from James, he’s destined for chances even against a solid Manchester United defense.
Chelsea’s -118 price is a bit short. Re-energized after some time off, Abraham to score in a Chelsea win is the pick of the bets.
Pick: Tammy Abraham to score and Chelsea to win (+163)
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