Manchester United will be hosting Chelsea at their Old Trafford in what would have been considered a derby, if not for the relatively poor form of both teams at the moment. The Red Devils will aim to keep their fleeting hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive when Chelsea make the journey to Old Trafford on Thursday night.
The Red Devils went down 3-1 to Arsenal at the weekend, while Thomas Tuchel’s men left it late to overcome London rivals West Ham United 1-0. Despite fleeting optimism that the appointment of Erik ten Hag could galvanize the Man United players – some of whom may be playing for their futures at the club under the new boss – the Red Devils once again lost ground in the race for Champions League football to a direct top-four rival at the Emirates.
Chelsea can empathize with their upcoming opponents after also conceding multiple goals in a recent defeat to Arsenal, and Tuchel also witnessed his side fail to convert from 12 yards at the weekend, with Jorginho’s trademark hop, skip, and jump effort falling kindly into the gloves of Lukasz Fabianski.
Form Guide: Manchester United
Manchester United enters this game in terrible form. They only won two of their last eight games, and those wins came exclusively through the brilliance of Cristiano Ronaldo. They are out of the top four race and can only hope to play European football next season.
Taking just four points from 15 on offer since the start of the month and losing three of their last four means that Man United are at risk of dropping out of the European places entirely never mind a Champions League pursuit, with Ralf Rangnick’s side now sixth in the rankings and six points behind Arsenal having played a game more.
West Ham are also breathing down the necks of Man United, and reports are starting to emerge of Rangnick allegedly losing the dressing room at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils can at least take a slice of confidence from their domestic home form ahead of Thursday’s game.
Form Guide: Chelsea
Just when it seemed like it was going to be another frustrating afternoon at the office for Chelsea, substitute Christian Pulisic was in the right place at the right time to convert in the 90th minute and ensure that the Blues would remain in the driving seat for a third-place finish.
Chelsea could now open up an eight-point gap to fourth-placed Arsenal should they win their game in hand on Thursday night, and victory at Old Trafford would certainly give the Blues a healthy buffer before meeting Leeds United, Everton, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Watford before the season is done and dusted.
How the game could go
A return to home comforts and Chelsea’s miserable streak in the league at Old Trafford will work in Man United’s favor, but it is difficult to picture the Red Devils getting a result against many sides in their current form.
While United have posted a respectable set of results at home, Chelsea has enjoyed win after win on the road, and we can only envisage the Blues ending their Old Trafford hoodoo to further dent Rangnick’s top-four aspirations.
Chelsea to Win
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four games against Man Utd but have only managed to win one of those encounters. However, Man United head into Thursday’s clash having lost four of their last six matches in all competitions while Chelsea have won four of their last six fixtures and have better momentum at the moment. Bet9ja have 2.30, 1xbet have 2.32 and Paripesa have 2.32 odds.
Over 2.5 Goals
We’re expecting goals in this game even though the last few meetings between the pair have been low-scoring. Each of Man Utd’s last three games has produced over 2.5 goals with the Red Devils losing their last two games 3-1 and 4-0. Four of Chelsea’s last six outings have also witnessed at least three goals scored with Tuchel’s men securing 6-0 and 3-2 victories in their last two away trips. Bet9ja have 1.78 odds, Paripesa have 1.89, and 1xbet have 1.89 odds.
Anytime Goalscorer (Chelsea)
Timo Werner looks a good option for a goalscorer bet. The German managed four goals and two assists in four games before the 1-0 win over West Ham last time out and can continue his solid form with a goal against a United defense that is lacking in confidence. Bet9ja have 3.50 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.50.
He has scored four goals in his previous three away fixtures in the premier league and it seems he enjoys playing away from home. He has the second-most goals for his team in the Premier League and he is surely looking to add to his tally against United today. He is a clutch player and a very poor United defense would surely have to be wary about him. Bet9ja have 2.95 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.05.
Anytime Goalscorer (Liverpool)
He is undoubtedly the most in-form player for his side despite their slump in form as he has scored 16 goals already this season. He scored four goals in his last two games and a hattrick in front of the Old Trafford fans, who would be looking for a repeat against Chelsea to keep their UCL hopes alive. Bet9ja have 2.55 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 2.55.
The Portuguese midfielder has had a below-par season by his standards, as he has not performed at the levels we have seen in previous seasons. He could be looking for a way to make amends after missing an important penalty against Arsenal, this could have seen them go level and probably win the game. Redemption is on okay here for the attacker. Bet9ja have 3.75 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.80.
Football Lover. All-round junkie of the beautiful game. Could be found watching football most of the time. If not he’s writing about them or making some punditry you don’t agree with. A certain bias for Arsenal and Santos FC.