Manchester United v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 25th February 2018

Can Chelsea claim three points in their return to Premier League action on Sunday? The Blues are bound for Old Trafford this weekend, as they look to dent Jose Mourinho and Manchester United’s push for the Champions League. Despite adding Alexis Sanchez to the side, the Red Devils have struggled in the league of late, losing back to back away games. The last thing they need after a couple of setbacks is to welcome the champions to Manchester. With just three points between these two sides heading into this clash, it could have a huge bearing on this season’s top four race.

Of course, this weekend does represent something of a missed opportunity for the champions. They could well have been lining up at Wembley this weekend, having lost out to Arsenal in the EFL Cup semi-finals. The Blues will be on their way back from Manchester as the first silverware of the season is contested, so it would be a pretty demoralising trip south should they lose to Mourinho’s men. Can Antonio Conte and his team avoid that fate by securing all three points against their top four rivals on Sunday?

Team News: Will Conte Push for a Five Man Midfield?

The big question heading into this game is over the system Antonio Conte decides to go with. The 3-4-3 has been relatively unchanged in recent weeks, but the Italian has moved to a 3-5-2 in big games this season, in order to control the midfield. They’re likely to come up against five United midfielders in this one, so a change could be necessary. The system also helped the Blues claim a 1-0 win at home to United in the reverse fixture, and now that Conte has enough bodies in midfield to play with a five across the middle, he could be tempted to make a change ahead of this crucial clash.

Much of the week’s discussion has been about Mourinho’s relationship with Paul Pogba. The Portuguese doesn’t seem all that keen on the club’s record signing, and he’s not hit the heights expected given his enormous transfer fee. The midfielder should play a part in this game, but for Mourinho to make him effective he needs to tweak his approach. The signing of Sanchez seems to have impacted their setup, which is now a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Pogba alongside former Chelsea man Nemanja Matic in central midfield. That’s likely to be the duo once again on Sunday, which is at least a powerful double act, if nothing else.

Manchester United Form

Two defeats from their last three league games have left United much closer to the top four battle than to leaders Man City. The Red Devils trail City by 16 points, although they do have a chance to close that gap temporarily this weekend. Fifth placed Tottenham went into the weekend just four points behind Man United, with the remaining three Champions League spots seemingly being contested by the four sides sandwiched between City and Arsenal.

United do have a good record behind them at home, unbeaten against all of the sides below them in the standings. They lost to City at Old Trafford, but aside from that they have 10 wins from 12 matches, which has seen them average 2.46 points per game. That has given them the second best home record in the division, so Chelsea have their work cut out in this weekend’s clash against a side that has scored more freely on home soil.

Manchester United v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have been hosting Man United pretty regularly of late, which has seen them claim three wins from their last five encounters. Their recent record at Old Trafford hasn’t been too bad, losing just one of their last five trips to Old Trafford. However, that defeat came in their visit to Manchester last April, which brought a rare loss for Conte on the way to the league title.

  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Nov 2017
  • Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-0 Manchester United, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United, Feb 2016

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 7/10 with Ladbrokes
  • Draw – 12/5 with BetVictor

Man United’s strong home form obviously makes them favourites for Sunday’s clash, and they’ve been priced up at 11/10 with Betfair to take the points. Meanwhile, the Blues are out at 11/4 with Betfred for a victory at Old Trafford. You can back the draw at 12/5 here, with these two sides looking quite even going into this weekend. Can the Blues pull off a victory, or will they be left outside of the top four and reeling from yet another blow to Conte’s position as manager?

While Chelsea have seen their fair share of high scoring away trips this term, we expect a different kind of game this weekend. These two managers may have a deep dislike for one another, but they come into this clash knowing that a safety first policy is probably the best way to go. We’ve all see how Mourinho sets up for big games, and if Conte goes for a midfield five once again then we’re likely to see a very cagey game played out between these two once again.

Only one of the last six meetings between these two have seen both teams score, while the last five meetings at Old Trafford have seen under 2.5 goals. Given how these two managers are likely to approach this game, we can see another low scoring affair on Sunday. We’re backing under 2.5 at 7/10 with Ladbrokes here. With four draws between the two at Old Trafford since 2013, we’re also going for this one to finish level, which is available at 12/5 with BetVictor. With a close game very likely, that seems like a great price.

Chelsea v Barcelona Betting Tips (Champions League) – 20th February 2018

Chelsea return to Champions League action this week, and they are about to pay the price for their second place finish in the group. The Blues slumped to finish behind Roma in their pool, leaving them facing La Liga leaders Barcelona in the last 16.

Given how the Catalans are very much on the up domestically – despite the sale of Neymar – the Blues are the outsiders in this one. Can Antonio Conte inspire his side to a victory over another Spanish side, or will they drop out of Europe at the first knockout round as they did in the 2015/16 season?

The bookies clearly see a victory for Barcelona, not just overall but in this first leg. Losing the opening clash would be a huge setback for the Premier League champions, with a trip to the Nou Camp coming up in three weeks’ time. Chelsea crashed out to PSG in 2016 when they were last in the competition, during their last dismal season following a title win. While things haven’t been quite as tough this time around, crashing out of Europe at this stage would be a setback which Antonio Conte can’t really afford at this stage.

Team News: How Will Blues Deal With Catalans?

Conte made his customary changes in their FA Cup clash on Friday night, but don’t expect anyone to be held back for this clash. Marcos Alonso should be fit again to take up his place on the left side of defence, while Victor Moses will be on the opposite wing. Olivier Giroud is available for selection despite playing a role in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign, but he’s not likely to start ahead of Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard showed his worth in the trip to Atletico Madrid earlier this season, and there’s hope that he can provide a similar impact in this game.

Barcelona may be known for the 4-3-3 which Pep Guardiola utilised to take them to incredible levels, but things have been different this season. The loss of Neymar, and the injury to his replacement – Ousmane Dembele – means Barca are no longer using their front three. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are their double act up front, with a four man midfield behind them. While a 4-4-2 isn’t what you’d usually expect from Barca, but the approach does seem to be working for them. Having moved seven points clear at the top of the table in Spain, it’s clearly an effective approach.

Barcelona Form

It’s hard to match Barca’s form this season, given that they’ve won 18 of their 23 league games, drawing the rest. It’s been too much for European champions Real Madrid to handle, who are 17 points behind the Catalans in the table. They’ve won 75% of their away trips this season, so can they take that form into this clash with the Premier League side?

The visitors have built their brilliant form on a strong defensive record, as they’ve conceded just 0.48 goals per game in the league this term. They’ve managed to keep a clean sheet in 61% of their outings in La Liga, which should worry a Chelsea side who have been hit and miss up front this season. However, the Catalans have drawn both trips to sides in the top three in Spain, so there’s a chance that they’ll struggle in another big game this week.

Chelsea v Barcelona Head to Head

The Blues have a fantastic record against Barcelona of late, having gone seven games unbeaten against the Catalans. That includes the last two meetings – the incredible double header in the 2012 semi-finals of this competition, including an incredible strike from Ramires and the late Fernando Torres strike. Can the Premier League side continue that run this week?

  • Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, Apr 2012
  • Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona, Apr 2012
  • Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, May 2009
  • Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea, Apr 2009
  • Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, Oct 2006

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 19/20 with Betfair
  • 0-0 Draw – 10/1 with Coral

Chelsea are 3/1 outsiders with Betfred heading into this game, despite their impressive record against the Catalans of late. Meanwhile, the visitors have been made favourites at evens with Ladbrokes, while you can back the draw at 13/5 with BetVictor here. It does seem like the recent record between the two sides is being largely ignored, and there’s also a case to say that Barca’s results in this competition are being ignored too. They’ve not been a side who have won at a canter in their recent away trips in Europe, so could they struggle at Stamford Bridge?

Barca have slipped up at top sides in Spain, and they come into this game with a mixed record in Europe on the road. The last few seasons have seen them toil in trips to all kinds of sides. They’ve managed just three wins in their last nine away in this competition, including just one victory in five. They lost to nil away to PSG and Juventus last season, before seeing a single goal scored across the last three European ties. An own goal gave them a 1-0 win at Sporting, while they drew 0-0 at Olympiakos and Juventus in the group. That doesn’t bode well for this clash.

With Chelsea having a mixed record going forward this term, we can’t see this being a high scoring game. We’re backing under 2.5 goals in this clash, which looks like good value at 19/20 with Betfair. Given how the Blues are unbeaten of late against the Catalans, having drawn most of those clashes we expect this one to finish up level too. While the draw seems like good value in this clash, we’re backing a goalless draw in this one, despite many predicting goals. A 0-0 draw is well priced at 10/1 with Coral.

Chelsea v Hull Betting Tips (FA Cup) – 16th February 2018

Chelsea are back in FA Cup action on Friday night, as Championship side Hull City head to Stamford Bridge. The Premier League champions are obviously heavy favourites to progress, given that they’re meeting a struggling second tier outfit in this clash.

While there have been problems surrounding the Blues in recent weeks, it’s hard to see a situation whereby they end up exiting the cup this weekend. After all, they should have far too much for the Tigers, even taking in heavy rotation into account. With the hosts aiming to go one better than last year in this competition, the stage does seem set for them to book a place in the quarter-finals.

Hull are hoping to lift the gloom after a tough 18 months by going on a cup run. The Tigers were finalists in this competition back in 2014, but can they go that far again? Having slumped in the Championship and after drawing the Premier League champions, you would imagine that the Tigers are cursing their luck. Having seen Chelsea just beat West Brom 3-0, you have to wonder how they’ll get on when they meet a poor side from the Championship this weekend.

Team News: Changes Likely Ahead of Catalan Visit

Antonio Conte doesn’t have a lengthy injury list this weekend, with Marcos Alonso and Ross Barkley both doubts. The Italian could have easily started without the pair anyway. With Barcelona heading for the Bridge in midweek, we expect that Conte will be looking to make changes for this clash. He’s likely to rest most of the back five, while Thibaut Courtois will sit out. Danny Drinkwater could make a start in midfield, while Willian and Pedro are the frontrunners to start behind Olivier Giroud this weekend, as Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata are held back for the clash with the Catalans.

Sadly, Hull man Ryan Mason retired in the lead-up to this game. It’s over a year ago that he fractured his skull at the Bridge in an aerial battle with Gary Cahill, and medical advice has told him not to return to the game. On top of that, the visitors have some selection issues to concern themselves with, as they have three Chelsea loanees. Ola Aina, Fikayo Tomori and Michael Hector are all unavailable for this game, so they all sit out. Without forward Abel Hernandez, the Tigers are significantly weakened going into this clash.

Hull Form

The Tigers have only just dropped down to the second tier, but they are battling against relegation to League One. They’ve found themselves in the relegation mix in recent months, having climbed out with a 2-0 win last weekend. They’ve won just six games in the Championship this term, suffering 14 defeats in 31 matches. Having scored less than a goal per game on the road in the league this term, which doesn’t bode well for a clash with Premier League opposition.

Hull have been particularly poor on the road this season, having lost nine of their 16 away trips. The Tigers have managed just two away wins in the Championship, and the highest placed team they’ve beaten on the road is 17th placed Nottingham Forest. In 12 meetings with the top nine sides, they’ve won none, losing nine. While victories against Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest have taken them in to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, the Tigers are likely to struggle when they meet the Premier League champions.

Chelsea v Hull Head to Head

Chelsea come into this clash having won their last six clashes with Hull. They won to nil home and away to the Tigers last term, as the two sides went in very different directions. The first victory last term – a 2-0 win at Hull – was the first time Conte started out with a back three as Chelsea boss. That win was a shaky one, but it kicked off the winning run which fired the Blues towards last season’s Premier League title.

  • Chelsea 2-0 Hull, Jan 2017
  • Hull 0-2 Chelsea, Oct 2016
  • Hull 2-3 Chelsea, Mar 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Hull, Dec 2014
  • Hull 0-2 Chelsea, Jan 2014

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea half-time/full-time – 3/4 with Ladbrokes
  • Chelsea to win 2-0 – 5/1 with BetVictor

The Blues are priced at 1/5 with Betfred to win this game, while they’re 1/14 with Betfair to qualify for the quarter-finals. The draw can be backed at 6/1 with Betfair in this game, while you can back Hull at 16/1 with Coral. The Premier League side are clear favourites for this clash, but can they live up to that favourites tag? We’ve had a look around at the betting on this one, as we look to find a couple of alternative picks with some better value.

While the Blues are likely to make changes, they’re set to include some big money signings in the mix. The likes of Willian, Pedro and Giroud should all make enough of an impact to leave key names out, as Conte looks to balance his side’s chances across multiple competitions. Of course, the Tigers are more significantly weakened than Chelsea – even with rotation taken into account. We struggle to see how the Championship side get anything out of this game given the gulf in class between them.

We’re backing Chelsea to take control of this tie early on, as we’re tipping them to be ahead at the end of each half. They seem like great value at 3/4 with Ladbrokes on the half-time/full-time market, which is our first tip. We’re also backing a comfortable 2-0 win for the Blues, given their excellent winning run against the Tigers. They won both meetings last season 2-0, while the last three encounters at Stamford Bridge have seen the Blues win 2-0, so we’re backing a repeat at 5/1 with BetVictor.

Chelsea v West Brom Betting Tips (Premier League) – 12th February 2018

Chelsea have had a week break since their thumping at the hands of Watford, so how will they get on at home to West Brom? Alan Pardew takes his side to the Bridge on Monday night in a game which the champions need to win, but it isn’t going to be easy. Having conceded seven goals to Watford and Bournemouth in recent games, Antonio Conte’s men are really struggling. They need to improve, especially with both Tottenham and Arsenal chasing them for fourth place. While the Italian is currently safe in his position as manager, he needs to show signs of turning things around or else the Blues could turn to an alternative.

Will Conte manage to shake things up at the Bridge this week, or are his side set to drop out of the Champions League spots? West Brom have to be respected, given that they make this trip having recently won at Anfield to put Liverpool out of the cup. The Baggies are starting to turn a corner under Pardew, and taking on the Blues could provide a welcome boost for the strugglers. The champions need to be on their toes heading in to Monday’s meeting, especially given how lethargic and uninterested they looked in the game a week ago.

Team News: Can Giroud Start Lift The Blues?

Chelsea’s hopes of improving on their poor form have taken a blow on the injury front, with a few problems for Conte to deal with. Tiemoue Bakayoko is obviously absent following his red at Watford, while Andreas Christensen is out through injury. On top of that, Alvaro Morata, Ross Barkley and Pedro are all considered to be doubts, while Marcos Alonso faces a late race to get fit in time for this clash. Despite that and the recent results, Conte isn’t expected to make any significant changes to the formation. In brighter news, Olivier Giroud looks set for a first start for his new side and will provide another option.

Former Blue Daniel Sturridge should feature for the Baggies, who are likely to start with him and Jay Rodriguez in attack. West Brom are likely to use a three man defence in this one, as they seem sure to set up in a 3-5-2 system. However, they have significant issues at the back too, with Jonny Evans, Nacer Chadli and Grzegorz Krychowiak all missing out in this trip to the capital.

West Brom Form

The Baggies currently sit bottom of the Premier League table, making them perfect opposition for a side like Chelsea right now. The Blues may be struggling in their last couple of fixtures, but they’ll be expecting to prove themselves against the worst side in the league at the moment. The visitors are in an awful shape on their travels, and they come into this game having suffered eight away defeats already this season.

Only Stoke have fewer away points than West Brom this season, with the Baggies claiming just two points from their last six trips in the Premier League. That form points to them dropping down into the Championship, and you’d imagine that the champions will have more than enough quality to deal with them. Not only have the away side played six of the bottom eight on their travels and lost every game, but they have just one point from five meetings with the top four this term.

Chelsea v West Brom Head to Head

The Blues have won their last three clashes with West Brom, a run which includes their victory in May which sealed the league title. A 4-0 victory back in November was one of the champions’ most impressive results this term. Having won four of the last six meetings between the pair at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will be expected to come out on top once again.

  • West Brom 0-4 Chelsea, Nov 2017
  • West Brom 0-1 Chelsea, May 2017
  • Chelsea 1-0 West Brom, Dec 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 West Brom, Jan 2016
  • West Brom 2-3 Chelsea, Aug 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea and Over 2.5 Goals – evens with Coral
  • Both teams to score – 21/20 with Ladbrokes

Chelsea may be struggling of late, but that hasn’t really affected their odds in this one. The Blues are still as short as 1/3 with BetVictor to take the points on Monday night. Meanwhile, you can back the draw in this game at 4/1 with Betfair, while the Baggies are a long odds 9/1 shot with Betfred to add to Chelsea’s misery. Going by recent form, you’d have to say that the champions are far too short in the betting for this game, and we’ve decided to look elsewhere for our bets on Monday’s encounter.

The champions have struggled of late, although this game does seem to be the perfect time for them to return to form. They are going up against a side with an awful away record, while the Blues have dominated the recent meetings between the pair. We do expect a high scoring game, as we don’t really have a huge amount of faith in the Chelsea defence right now. They look a little shaky without Christensen, while David Luiz is set to start in his place despite some awful recent form. With the Baggies starting with two up front, that’s something they’ll be out to exploit.

We expect to see West Brom making this into an open game, given their likely set-up. We expect both sides to find the net, given how many goals the champions have been conceding, so we’re backing both teams to score at very tempting odds of 21/20 with Ladbrokes. We’re also backing the Blues to edge a high scoring game this weekend, given that West Brom currently sit bottom of the Premier League table. We’re going for a Chelsea victory and over 2.5 goals to be scored, which can be backed at evens with Coral.

Watford v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 5th February 2018

Chelsea head to Watford on Monday night as they look to recover from their mauling at home to Bournemouth. While the transfer deadline didn’t exactly go to plan for Antonio Conte and his side, their loss to the Cherries was an even bigger disaster, which has put their Champions League hopes at risk. The Blues need to be finishing in the top four as the minimum achievement this season, but now they have Tottenham and even Arsenal bearing down as the Blues toil just inside the top four. Can they turn things around at Vicarage Road?

The pressure on Antonio Conte has only grown more intense after that 3-0 loss, and it seems like his off field complaints are transferring across to the team. While Conte is showing little concern over his place in the Stamford Bridge dugout next season, he can’t depart the club having left them right back where he started – outside of the Champions League. This title defence is nowhere near as disastrous as the last, but the crisis club tag hasn’t deserted Chelsea for much of the campaign. Another loss on Monday night, and those claims will only grow.

Team News: Will Conte Hand Giroud a Quick Debut?

Chelsea are expected to go into this game without Alvaro Morata once again, with the forward still side-lined. That should lead to a first start for new signing Olivier Giroud, who has taken up Michy Batshuayi’s role as understudy to the club’s record signing. However, the Frenchman showed his reliability over the years at Arsenal, and he could well emerge as a first choice if he hits the ground running. We don’t expect starts from the other January signings – Ross Barkley and Emerson Palmieri. The pair need to get back to fitness, as the former Everton man showed in the Bournemouth defeat. Despite the nature of that loss, we can’t see too many other changes for Conte to make this week.

While Watford blamed their collapse in form on Marco Silva, they come into this game with a lengthy injury list. Among them is former Blue Nathaniel Chalobah, while Craig Cathcart and Younes Kaboul miss out in defence. The Hornets are expected to have as many as seven players absent for this game, which obviously affects their chances. That’s bound to have played a big part in their collapse in form, and we expect the hosts to find things tough once again.

Watford Form

The Hornets have recently switched manager, sacking Marco Silva following a dismal run of results. His admiring glances to Everton earned him no favours from the Watford board, who quickly turned on him when relegation became a concern. It’s not hard to see why, as the hosts have been in awful form of late. They have just two wins since the tail end of November, a run spanning 14 matches, and one of those was against Championship opposition.

The hosts have won one of their previous 12 in the top flight, while they have one win in their last six at home. They do have a habit of falling apart around this stage every season, but they should get enough points in the final stages of the campaign to survive. However, that aim is quite a step down over what they were hoping for when Silva had them flying. Can new boss Javi Gracia manage to restore some hope to the Watford faithful with a victory over the champions in his first home game?

Watford v Chelsea Head to Head

Chelsea have a solid record against the Hornets, barring the season after the previous title win. Of course, that campaign brought plenty of poor displays against average sides, and the Blues drew home and away to the then newly promoted side. Things have looked up for them recently, and Conte has a 100% record against the Hornets since taking charge, despite a couple of close calls.

  • Chelsea 4-2 Watford, Oct 2017
  • Chelsea 4-3 Watford, May 2017
  • Watford 1-2 Chelsea, Aug 2016
  • Watford 0-0 Chelsea, Feb 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Watford, Dec 2015

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 19/20 with Betfair
  • Chelsea and Over 2.5 Goals – 6/4 with Coral

Chelsea head to Vicarage Road as favourites; they’re priced up at 4/7 with BetVictor to come away with the points on Monday night. The Hornets can be backed at 5/1 with Betfred to pull off a victory and turn their form around, while the draw is priced at 29/10 with Ladbrokes here. The Blues aren’t too badly priced for the win in this clash, but we think we’ve found a couple of bigger priced predictions ahead of the final game of the Premier League weekend.

While Watford don’t have a huge amount going for them in terms of form, they do have an impressive attacking record backing them up going in to this clash. They’ve found the net in seven straight home games, the only issue is that they’ve conceded in their previous six. The hosts have conceded 2.08 goals per game at home this term, so Chelsea shouldn’t worry too much about scoring, it seems like a perfect place for Giroud to make an impact. Given that the hosts have scored in 75% of their home games, and in four of their last five meetings with the Blues, we’re backing both teams to score at 19/20 with Betfair.

We expect a high scoring game, especially given that the Blues have won four of the last six encounters – with over 2.5 goals scored in each of those victories. Watford have seen over 2.5 in 67% of their home matches, while it has also landed in 67% of Chelsea’s away trips this term. We expect the Blues to take advantage of Watford’s awful form, but we should see goals in the process. An away win and over 2.5 goals is out second tip here, which is priced at 6/4 with Coral.