Chelsea versus Manchester United was, in the very recent past, a title decider. This season however, Andre Villas-Boas has overseen the start of what looks like a rebuilding excersize. With Champions League qualification in the balance, the Blues need a result – but United have a bigger target and will be keen to take all 3 points.
Manchester United Win (@ 19/10 with Coral)
While the bookmakers struggle to split Chelsea and United, the team news is poles apart for the two clubs. The Red Devils hope to welcome back Wayne Rooney, Nani, Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley to their travelling party. After labouring past Stoke City in the week, Sir Alex Ferguson will be pleased to have any if those four back.
Chelsea meanwhile are missing some key men. The absence of Didier Drogba has had a huge impact, with the Blues cobbling together just 3 goals in their last 4 contests. In addition, the West Londoners must try and cope without both Ashley Cole and John Terry – suspension and injury keep those two out respectively. Add to that the loss of Ramires and Jon Obi Mikel and the Blues will find themselves stretched for the visit of the reigning Champions. There is better news on Frank Lampard, who is expected to recover in time for this clash.
Historical records do not encourage a punt on United, they have not won at Stamford Bridge in 9 League attempts, but this Chelsea team could not be considered a ‘vintage’ XI. The gap between the two in the League is 12 points, and that highlights the gulf between the sides. As long as a few of United’s big guns return, they will travel very confident.
The 19/10 availabe on the Reds with Coral looks attractive given the selection news at present. Even aside from that point, Chelsea are in indifferent form while Manchester United are hungry to chase down their cross city rivals. With Chelsea already having suffered 3 losses at home from 11 contests, United can continue their strong League form on the road.