Chelsea v Newcastle Betting Tips (Premier League) – 2nd December 2017

Chelsea are straight back in to Premier League action this weekend, as they host Newcastle at Stamford Bridge. The Blues won 1-0 against Swansea at home on Wednesday night, and they’ll be out to add another three points to the board when the Magpies make the long trip down south. It’s a gruelling one for the away support, heading for London for a lunchtime kick-off, which seems like the usual way for the Premier League to kick off their busy December schedule. Can the champions start their run to the festive period with another victory this weekend?

There’s a bit of an edge to this game for the home support, given that maligned manager Rafa Benitez returns to the club after taking over as Newcastle boss. He guided them through a tough Championship campaign last season, while the Spaniard won the Europa League while at Stamford Bridge in 2013. He wasn’t a popular figure with the Blues’ support before or after his short spell as interim manager, and we expect the home crowd to make that clear when Benitez takes his place within the opposition dugout this weekend.

Team News: Conte Likely to Recall Hazard after Midweek Changes

With three Premier League games in the space of a week, Antonio Conte made changes ahead of the clash with Swansea. The Blues moved back to a 3-4-3 system, with Eden Hazard dropping down to the bench for the clash. Willian and Pedro both impressed late on at Anfield, and they supported Alvaro Morata. We expect the Belgian to return just behind the frontman this weekend, while Cesar Azpilicueta should make a start after being handed a rare break. The midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas should stay, as they seem by far the strongest pairing on recent form.

Newcastle don’t have a great squad at their disposal, which is partly why the fans are so desperate to get a takeover sorted with the January transfer window looming. They come in to this trip with three players absent through injury, which is a blow to a side who have only had 17 players make more than one start in the league this term. Benitez has a core group that he heavily relies on, so don’t expect any big changes from their usual side for this clash.

Newcastle Form

Newcastle made a solid start to life in the Premier League, but things haven’t been quite so easy for them of late. While they were briefly sat up around the European spots, Rafa Benitez is working with a squad of largely Championship players. There just isn’t the quality to keep them in the top half, but that doesn’t excuse their recent poor form. The Toon have taken just a single point from their last five games, and that came away to a West Brom side who are in trouble themselves.

Newcastle had previously lost their last four league matches before that draw at the Hawthorns in midweek. A 3-0 loss to Watford at home is probably the low point of the season for the Magpies, with their usually solid defence falling apart. They’ve been far too open over the course of the last week, which should worry their manager ahead of a daunting trip. They’ve managed just one clean sheet in their previous 10 matches, and we expect Newcastle to struggle at the back when they head to the Bridge.

Chelsea v Newcastle Head to Head

Chelsea were resounding victors in the last meeting between these sides, which came as Guus Hiddink was repairing things at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were 5-1 winners on home soil, having drawn 2-2 with Newcastle at St James’ Park under Jose Mourinho. The Blues have won their last four at home to Newcastle, with the Magpies’ last win here coming just two weeks before the Champions League final win in Munich.

  • Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle, Feb 2016
  • Newcastle 2-2 Chelsea, Sep 2015
  • Chelsea 2-0 Newcastle, Jan 2015
  • Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea, Dec 2014
  • Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle, Feb 2014

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 10/11 with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win 2-0 – 5/1 with Bet365

Chelsea come into this game as heavy favourites, priced at 1/4 with Ladbrokes to take all three points. Meanwhile, Newcastle can be backed at 14/1 with Coral to end their poor form with a victory over the champions. A point would probably be a boost for the Magpies, and they’re priced at 11/2 with Betfred to return to St James’ Park with a point from Saturday’s early game. Obviously we aren’t going throwing money on the Blues at such a short price, but they should come out of this one with the points and a comfortable win.

One area where Newcastle are really struggling is up front. They’ve looked short of a forward since claiming promotion back to the top flight, but the resources just haven’t been there for the club to add a proven striker. The visitors come in to this game having averaged 0.86 goals per game on their travels this term, while the Blues have conceded just 11 times in their 14 matches this season. Chelsea have managed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last five league matches, and we’re backing them to secure another win to nil here, which can be backed at 10/11 with BetVictor.

The Blues haven’t been scoring too many goals of late, and they come into Saturday’s clash having scored a single goal in four of their last five league matches. Hazard should be able to create a few opportunities against this Newcastle defence, but we don’t see the Blues suddenly racking up a big win given that 71% of their home matches this term have seen under 2.5 goals. That has us backing a 2-0 victory for the hosts at 5/1 with Bet365.

Chelsea v Swansea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 29th November 2017

After a creditable draw at Anfield at the weekend, Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge to face a struggling Swansea side. The Blues may have been able to come back from behind to Liverpool, but that’s left them a full 11 points off league leaders Manchester City. With such a massive gap to pull back, is it time for the reigning champions to give up on any potential title aspirations? Either way, Antonio Conte still has a job on his hands to secure Champions League football for the Blues, who are only three points ahead of sixth place ahead of this bonus midweek round of fixtures. Slipping up on Wednesday would be a huge blow to their top four hopes.

This game sees a return for Paul Clement, former Chelsea assistant manager who now has a tough job on his hands at Swansea. Despite saving the Welsh side from the drop last season, his team have dropped down to 19th place in the league ahead of Wednesday night’s clash. That’s the same position they were in when he took charge earlier this year, so clearly not much has changed. Can Clement boost his hopes of keeping his job with a win at the champions, and put another dent in his former team’s distant hopes of winning the title?

Team News: Conte Likely to Bolster the Attack

It could be said that Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system was a little too pragmatic against Liverpool, which failed to test Liverpool’s poor defence. When changes were made late on, the game opened up for the champions. The introduction of Cesc Fabregas was crucial, the 3-5-2 set-up is made for the Spaniard.

However, we still expect him to make a start here despite a likely change to 3-4-3, with Willian and Pedro both pushing to start. With Tiemoue Bakayoko failing to impress, we’re backing Cesc to start alongside N’Golo Kante here. Given that Conte has close to a full squad to choose from, he shouldn’t have any other tough decisions to make ahead of this match.

Apart from Kyle Bartley, Swansea have no injuries ahead of this daunting trip. However, on-loan Tammy Abraham is ineligible to play against his parent club. They started with a diamond midfield and two up top last weekend in an attempt to make their side more attacking, but don’t expect the Welsh side to be quite so daring in this game. The Swans will need a bit more defensive steel, and they could potentially switch to a 3-5-2 system to try and match up with Chelsea’s approach. They started with that system in a recent clash at Arsenal, and we expect to see just as much caution from Clement here.

Swansea Form

Swansea are having an awful time of things coming into this game, having taken one point from their last five matches. They may have ended a four game losing streak at the weekend, but that point came in a clash at home to Bournemouth. That’s the kind of game the Swans really need to win in order to survive, and that’s left them in serious trouble heading up to Christmas. At this point, it does seem like Clement has a lot of work to do to keep his job.

Swansea have an awful record on the road, with just two away wins since February in the Premier League. That’s a pretty long spell, and their two victories came at the current bottom side – Crystal Palace – and last season’s bottom team Sunderland. That’s a huge way from taking three points away against the champions, especially after losing some key players in the summer.

Chelsea v Swansea Head to Head

The Swans did have a bit of form against Chelsea, but that was put to the sword in a 3-1 win in February. The Blues started their dismal 2015/16 campaign against the Swans, dropping two points at the Bridge. Conte suffered a similar result early on last season, which was when problems first started to emerge with his 4-1-4-1 system. However, on recent form it’s hard to see a repeat of any Chelsea issues here.

  • Chelsea 3-1 Swansea, Feb 2017
  • Swansea 2-2 Chelsea, Sept 2016
  • Swansea 1-0 Chelsea, Apr 2016
  • Chelsea 2-2 Swansea, Aug 2015
  • Swansea 0-5 Chelsea, Jan 2015

Betting Tips

  • Chelsea to win to nil – 4/5 with Coral
  • Chelsea to win 2-0 – 11/2 with BetVictor

Chelsea came into this game as heavy favourites for the points here, they’re 1/6 with Bet365 to claim another home win. Swansea’s awful away form is quite clear in their price here, they can be backed at 18/1 with Ladbrokes to cause a huge shock. Even a draw in this game would be a surprise, and the Swans are out at 6/1 with Betfred to take a point back to Wales. Clearly there’s little value in backing the hosts to come away with a win, but Swansea’s poor away form does offer a few other options.

The Welsh side have managed just three away goals in the league this season, and finding the net has been really hard for them since selling their two main attacking threats in the summer. With Tammy Abraham out of this game, they have even less chance of causing any problems in this trip. The Swans claimed two of their away strikes against Frank De Boer’s awful Crystal Palace outfit, while their lack of shots this season further shows their issues up top. We’re backing a Chelsea win to nil at 4/5 with Coral here.

Conte has been clear about the issues his squad have faced with fixture congestion. With an extra midweek Premier League match, he’s going to want to get his side out in front and close the game down. The Swans are a side who keep things quite tight, so we’re backing a straightforward 2-0 win for the champions, which is 11/2 with BetVictor.

Liverpool v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 25th November 2017

Chelsea head to Anfield on Saturday with three points very much on the agenda. There’s an intriguing top four battle emerging in the Premier League, and a win over Liverpool would lift the Blues above that and more towards a possible tilt at the title itself. They’ll have ambitions of being part of a top three with the Manchester clubs, rather than having to contend with the sides chasing fourth. A few impressive Premier League victories has seen expectations at Stamford Bridge raise, but can they continue to make life difficult for Liverpool at Anfield?

Antonio Conte is facing the only Premier League side that he’s failed to beat since arriving at the club last summer. The Blues won 30 of their 38 games on the way to the Premier League title, but they took just one point from a possible six against Liverpool last season. That was partly down to the similarities between the pair, as they were both looking to make the top four in a season without continental football. Now they’ve both made the jump to the Champions League, it will be interesting to see which team is best equipped to stay there.

Team News: Conte’s 3-5-2 is here to stay

Chelsea come into this game with only Michy Batshuayi on the injury list, which is a big boost for Antonio Conte. He has made a slight tweak to the system this season, using a 3-5-2 set-up for big games. That was always likely to be wheeled out at Anfield, but the system seems to be one that Conte is sticking with. He used it at West Brom last weekend, to great effect.

Post-match Conte talked up the understanding of the two strikers – Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard. Those two played really well together at the Hawthorns, and that could signal a change in thinking from the Blues boss for the remainder of the season. A switch to a three-man defence worked wonders last season, Conte must hope a change to a three-man central midfield can do the same.

Liverpool have few injury worries going into this one, with Nathaniel Clyne their main absentee here. We’re unlikely to see any huge changes to the way they play – which tends to be a in a 4-3-3 set-up. Mohamed Salah is set to be one of the wide-men in that system, as he faces off against his former side. It will be interesting to see how the pace and pressing of that front three lines up against Chelsea’s three man defence, but they have N’Golo Kante in front to help alleviate the pressure at least.

Liverpool Form

The Reds are in impressive form in recent weeks, having strung together a three game winning streak in the league. However, those wins did come against Southampton, West Ham and Huddersfield. They struggled in slightly bigger games before that, losing at Tottenham, drawing with Manchester United and Newcastle. Their biggest Champions League home game saw the Reds draw with Sevilla, so you can question their form in big games. While they rattled four goals past Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp’s men followed that up with a 5-0 loss to Manchester City soon after.

Liverpool do have one of the strongest home records in the league, which makes this a dangerous trip. They’ve conceded just one home goal in the league – and that was to the Premier League’s resident upset merchants Burnley. They are unbeaten in 11 home matches, dating back to April’s loss to Crystal Palace. Having taken 14 points at home, scoring 12 times in six games, Anfield has become something of a fortress for Liverpool, but can Chelsea end that run?

Liverpool v Chelsea Head to Head

Anfield has been a friendly ground for the Blues to visit in recent times. They’ve escaped without defeat in their previous six visits, with their last loss coming five years ago. However, that side was heavily rotated by Roberto Di Matteo, as he battled fixture congestion to guide the side to the Champions League and the FA Cup. It’s over seven years since a full strength Blues side lost at Anfield, but can Klopp’s side end that run this weekend?

  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, Jan 2017
  • Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool, Sept 2017
  • Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea, May 2016
  • Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool, Oct 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool, May 2015

Betting Tips

  • Eden Hazard to score any time – 7/4 with BetVictor
  • 1-1 Draw – 6/1 with Coral

Chelsea come into this game as slight outsiders, as they’re priced at 21/10 with Betfred, while the draw is 5/2 with Ladbrokes. The Reds are 6/5 favourites with Bet365, which is understandable given their home form so far this season. However, it’s easy to also see why the home side are above evens, given that they’ve enjoyed a mixed record against the other top sides in recent encounters, with Manchester United taking a 0-0 draw back from Anfield last month.

Chelsea shouldn’t be as defensive as Jose Mourinho was that day, and they have the kind of mercurial talent behind the frontman that United wish they had. Eden Hazard looks great in his new role behind the frontman, and with Liverpool’s midfield not that defensively minded, we can see the Belgian slipping out of sight and finding some space. He’s scored five goals against Liverpool in his career, which is the highest number he’s scored against a Premier League side. We’re backing another strike from Hazard this week, and he’s priced at 7/4 with BetVictor to score any time.

While the Blues are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Liverpool at Anfield, four of those clashes have been draws. That includes the previous three meetings here, which have all finished 1-1. The draw has been the most popular result across the last eight encounters, landing in six of those clashes. We’re backing another 1-1 between these two here, which can be backed at 6/1 with Coral.

Qarabag v Chelsea Betting Tips (Champions League) – 22nd November 2017

Chelsea return to Champions League action on Wednesday, with a slightly earlier 5pm kick off. That’s because the Blues head East out to Azerbaijan, as they aim to book a spot in the last 16 of Europe’s premier competition. A strong run in Europe is going to be a key demand for the Blues this season, following their year out of this tournament last season, and the dismal way in which they exited the competition during the 2015/16 campaign. Can the 2012 European champions make another impressive run in this competition, or will Antonio Conte continue to disappoint on the European stage?

The Italian boss hasn’t got a great record when it comes to guiding side through the latter stages of the Champions League, he never took Juventus too far in this competition despite their domestic dominance. That’s something Conte is out to change, but it really depends on which version of his Blues side shows up for this game. Will they play like they did in their brilliant 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid, or the awful 3-0 defeat Rome last month? If they’re going to make it through this group, then the Blues need to be back to their best here and pick up all three points. Qarabag have improved in Europe of late, so they need to be taken seriously.

Team News: Conte Needs to Switch Approach from Group Opener

One thing is for certain here, Antonio Conte can’t use the same approach that he did for the home meeting with Qarabag. He rotated his side for the clash at Stamford Bridge, with a very much second string Chelsea side taking the Azerbaijani side apart with a 6-0 victory. The scoreline didn’t quite reflect the game ultimately, but things have changed quite a bit since then. With Chelsea second in the group and Qarabag taking two points from two meetings with Atletico Madrid, the Blues have to revert back to their strongest line up for this clash on Wednesday. Expect a full-strength team to take the field here, as Chelsea look to seal their place in the last 16.

We can’t see any reason why Qarabag would make any changes to the side which caused Atletico Madrid so much trouble in their recent encounters. They also tested Roma in their home game, so that 6-0 loss to Chelsea is a real outlier in their results in Europe this season. Qarabag have proven themselves to be a solid side at this level, and we expect them to name a similar side to the one which held Atletico, and they’re likely to give Chelsea a real test in this trip.

Qarabag Form

The hosts have impressed in the Champions League of late, while they’re on course for more domestic success. They’re top of the league in Azerbaijan, and they should extend that lead with a game in hand on the chasing pack. However, the Champions League is the big thing for them this season, given that they’re the first ever Azerbaijani side to play at this level in the Champions League. Can they follow that up by being the first to pick up a group stage victory?

If Qarabag are to win a game in this group, you’d expect that they’ll be targeting their final home game to pick up that victory. After some impressive displays in Europe, the hosts must be full of confidence ahead of this week’s meeting with Chelsea. Qarabag managed to draw 1-1 at Atletico Madrid last time out, following up a hard-fought 0-0 at home. Can they cause a similar shock against Chelsea in their final home game of this European campaign?

Qarabag v Chelsea Head to Head

The only meeting between these two was that 6-0 victory back in September. Obviously Qarabag’s lack of a European track record means they’ve missed out on big Champions League clashes, with these two clubs operating within different worlds. However, we expect this week’s clash to be a much closer affair.

  • Chelsea 6-0 Qarabag, Sept 2017

Betting Tips

  • Both Teams to Score – 21/20 with Bet365
  • Chelsea to win 2-1 – 8/1 with BetVictor

Chelsea are heavy favourites here despite Qarabag’s recent European results, with the Blues priced at 2/5 with Coral to take the points and move into the next round. Meanwhile, the hosts can be backed at 15/2 with Ladbrokes, as they search for a first win in this group. Having drawn their last two games, the Azerbaijan side will be out for another point against the English champions, especially after stopping a side like Atletico Madrid. You can back another draw for the group’s smallest side at 7/2 with Betfred. Obviously there’s not much value there in backing the Chelsea win, but we think this game will be closer than the odds make out.

The Blues should be worried about the increased confidence of the hosts here. In the first meeting at the Bridge Qarabag were finding chances, they just lacked the cutting edge to see them through. However, we don’t expect that to be the case here, especially after landing blows against the two other top sides in this group. Having scored away to Atleti and at home to Roma, we expect Qarabag will be more confident when it comes to burying their chances here. We expect them to grab a goal against the Blues, so our first tip here is both teams to score at 21/20 with Bet365.

We’re also backing a 2-1 win for Chelsea in this trip, as we see them having more fluidity up front than Atletico. The Spaniards have been struggling for goals across this European campaign, but the Blues should have enough cutting edge to take the win they need to maintain their push for top spot. Given that Qarabag lost 2-1 at home to group leaders Roma, that correct score bet looks like great value at 8/1 with BetVictor.

West Brom v Chelsea Betting Tips (Premier League) – 18th November 2017

On Saturday Conte takes his Blues’ side back to the ground where they won the Premier League title just six months ago. Plenty has changed for the Blues since that dramatic victory at the Hawthorns, which wrapped up a fantastic debut season in English football for the Italian manager. Things aren’t going quite as well this time around, as they trail leaders Manchester City, with United and Tottenham between them and top spot. Retaining the title is going to be a tall order for the Blues, and it’ll be even more difficult if they can’t at least repeat their 1-0 victory here in May.

The international break came at the worst time for Chelsea, as there’s been a two week break between their win over United and this clash with West Brom. That result was a huge boost for Conte and his side, before they all departed with their national sides. Can they pick up where they left off when they travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday? The champions need to build on that last victory, especially with the race for the Champions League spots heating up.

Team News: Can Luiz Make a Return?

Antonio Conte’s biggest move last time out was to drop David Luiz from the side, claiming after that he’d finally picked his first choice trio in central defence. He claimed it was a tactical move, but reports of a clash between the manager and the Brazilian defender suggests he’s likely to miss out here. The Blues boss did welcome back N’Golo Kante for the United game, which saw him switch to a 3-5-2 formation. He’s likely to return to the 3-4-3 set-up for this weekend’s match, which should see Pedro step back into the team. Danny Drinkwater – who turned down an England call up due to fitness concerns – isn’t likely to make the starting line-up here.

James Morrison and Craig Dawson are both missing out for the Baggies ahead of this clash. Tony Pulis may make big changes as he desperately tries to end their awful slump in form, which makes it hard to call his starting line-up this weekend. However, he has been utilising a three-man defence of late, and we expect the Welshman to stick with that approach in order to match up with Conte’s tactics. They have named Jay Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon up front in recent weeks, and they should lead the way in a 3-5-2 formation.

West Brom Form

The Baggies are going through a real rough patch ahead of the visit of the champions. They’ve hit nine matches without a win, after taking six points from their opening two Premier League matches of the season. That’s a pretty big tail off, and it’s left many fans calling for Pulis to get the sack. When you play results football and fail to get results, you can’t really expect much else.

A 1-0 loss to Huddersfield last time out has left them a point above the drop zone, leaving West Brom in trouble. The Baggies have to be concerned by their recent form, especially losing out to newly promoted sides. Having managed to win one and lose 13 of their last 16 meetings with the top seven, it’s difficult to hold out much hope for the hosts ahead of this clash.

West Brom v Chelsea Head to Head

It’s hard to not think about Chelsea’s latest title triumph when you consider their recent encounters with the Baggies. The Blues picked up two 1-0 wins over West Brom last term, both vital in their push for the trophy. The first came via a late Diego Costa winner, and the second was an even more dramatic victory via Michy Batshuayi’s title winning goal.

  • 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
  • West Brom 3-0 Chelsea, May 2015

Betting Tips

  • Morata to score any time – evens with BetVictor
  • Chelsea to win 1-0 – 13/2 with Bet365

Chelsea come into this clash as 4/7 favourites with Coral to claim the three points. The Baggies may have failed to win any of their last nine league outings, but they can be backed at 5/1 with Betfred to win on Saturday. Meanwhile, the draw is priced up at 27/10 with Ladbrokes, which might tempt some.

The champions aren’t bad value considering the form of these two going in, but we believe you can find some better value on this game. The champions are worth backing for the points, but having looked at the stats and the form of each we believe we have some better options when it comes to pro-Chelsea bets on Saturday.

One thing that has to worry Tony Pulis is that his side just aren’t doing the things they tend to specialise in. The Baggies are a side who keep clean sheets, are hard to beat and tend to dominate in the air. Usually that wouldn’t be a good match for Blues’ forward Alvaro Morata, but this season is a different story.

This season West Brom have been poor at the back, conceding their fair share of headers. That’s not a huge surprise, given that no team has won fewer aerial duels than the Baggies this term. Morata has scored the majority of his goals in the air, so we’re backing him to score any time against West Brom. He’s priced at evens with BetVictor to score any time on Saturday.

West Brom come into this game having lost their last three games by a single goal. Having gone down 1-0 home and away to Chelsea last season, we can see the Baggies making things difficult for the Blues here. We’re backing another 1-0 win for the champions at the Hawthorns, which is great value at 13/2 with Bet365.

Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Tips (Premier League) – 5th November 2017

Chelsea are being made to wait this weekend, as they play in the final Premier League fixture before the international break. The Blues face Manchester United in the second of Sunday’s massive double header, one which could prove crucial to the title race. The Blues are hoping to get themselves back in contention for top spot with a result against the second placed side, but they’ve already come up short against Man City this term. There’s a nine point gap between the reigning champions and the current leaders, but can they cut in to that before the squad heads on international duty?

After the midweek loss in Roma, Chelsea need to go off on a high before the break. This has been a troubled spell for the Blues, who this time last year went through October and November without dropping points in the league. This time around, things have been quite different. The performances have been far from the standard required, leaving Conte facing questions over his future. Can the Italian do anything to silence the critics this week, or will Jose Mourinho get one over him once again?

Team News: Conte has Kante on the Fast Track to Recovery

It seems like Conte’s response to the shambles in Rome is to rush N’Golo Kante back into the side. The Frenchman has been an obvious absentee in recent weeks, as he does a job few in world football can accomplish. Without Kante’s energy and positioning, this Chelsea team just aren’t the same. Conte will be hoping his return improves them defensively, but Kante coming back frees up a change in formation. Conte should have the options to go with a 3-5-2 set up this weekend, which should make the champions much tougher to break down than they were in Rome.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has one kind of approach in big games like this; don’t lose. The former Chelsea boss is well known for parking the bus in big games in England, and it seems like he’s becoming even more conservative as he ages. The way his side frustrated Liverpool and Tottenham last month was impressive, but United were clearly lacking an edge. The absence of Paul Pogba continues to leave United a little short, and he’s not returning any time soon it seems. The midfielder is out of this trip, which gives Conte’s likely three man midfield the edge in the middle of the park.

Manchester United Form

Manchester United have been solid for the most part, losing just once all season. That defeat came against Huddersfield on the road, which makes them a little nervy ahead of this trip. That’s probably why Mourinho refused to let the shackles off his team at Anfield earlier in the season, and why he kept things so tight at home to Tottenham. Those two matches failed to capture the imagination of United’s fans, and neither did the two wins over Benfica in the Champions League.

However, it’s difficult to argue with United’s defensive record. Oddly, the four goals they conceded came in trips to two separate teams, meaning they’ve kept a clean sheet in 80% of their league matches so far. Having shipped just one goal in four Champions League games. The Red Devils are obviously a solid defensive unit, even if they’re a bit dull to watch going forwards.

Chelsea v Manchester United Head to Head

The three meetings between these sides last season were all won by the home side, but things got gradually less impressive for Chelsea over the season. Their 1-0 win over United in the FA Cup was a really tight contest, and it took them a long time to break down 10 men. Meanwhile, the loss at Old Trafford saw Mourinho freeze out Hazard and nullify Chelsea, a tactic which others have adopted this season.

  • Man United 2-0 Chelsea, Apr 2017
  • Chelsea 1-0 Man United, Mar 2017
  • Chelsea 4-0 Man United, Nov 2016
  • Chelsea 1-1 Man United, Feb 2016
  • Man United 0-0 Chelsea, Dec 2015

Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 Goals – 4/6 with Betfair
  • Draw – 9/4 with Betfred

Chelsea may be coming off the back of a nightmare result, but they’re priced at 29/20 with Bet365 to win this clash. Meanwhile, United are further out at 2/1 with Coral, but they’re priced at 8/15 with Ladbrokes to avoid defeat this weekend. Clearly the bookies are struggling to pick a winner between these two, which isn’t surprising in such a big game. Can either of these two grind out the result they need, or will this clash end up a stalemate?

The big worry for Antonio Conte has to be that his side are struggling at the back. If they put in a defensive display like they did in Rome, then there’s no way back against this United side. The champions need to be just as solid as United defensively, or else they’re going to suffer another defeat here. That is why we see Conte turning to the 3-5-2 set-up which they’ve used in big games already this season. Having lacked enough central midfielders for that system in Rome, Kante’s return changes things for the champions. They should be able to shore up the defence with more bodies in midfield, with a forward player likely to miss out on their place.

That should give us a really tight game on Sunday, and our tips reflect that. Three of Chelsea’s last four home games in the league have seen under 2.5 goals scored, and we see a similarly low scoring contest here. Both sides need to set up not to lose, which should result in a game of few chances. We think under 2.5 is great value at 4/6 with Betfair, while we’re backing these two to cancel each other out and share the points. The draw can be backed at 9/4 with Betfred here, and that seems like the most likely outcome between these two.