In English Premier League action, league-leading Chelsea visits Man United on Oct. 26
By Ian Palmer
The most intriguing English Premier League match this weekend features Manchester United hosting league-leading Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday, October 26. United’s last game was a 2-2 draw in Birmingham against West Brom last Monday night. Chelsea last played in the European Champions League on Tuesday and posted their biggest-ever win in the competition with a 6-0 shutout over Maribor at home at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea enters this game in first place in the Premier League with 22 points from seven wins and a draw while United sits in sixth place with 12 points from three wins, two losses and three draws.
bet365 soccer Betting line – Chelsea vs Man United:
- Chelsea are the favorites to win the match at 7/5
- Man United 9/5 to win
- Draw 12/5
- Goals Scored: The odds are 4/5 to go over 2.5 goals and 1/1 for under
United goes into the game against Chelsea with three straight league wins at home over Queens Park Rangers, West Ham, and Everton, after dropping the season opener at Old Trafford to Swansea City. Chelsea is unbeaten so far this season with their last league game being a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace in a London derby last weekend. They lead the league in goals scored with 23, but might have a hard time putting the ball in the back of the net in Manchester since top scorer Diego Costa could miss the match due to injury and there’s also a chance that striker Loic Remy may also be sidelined.
If Costa and Remy are unable to play, manager Jose Mourinho has just one more striker in the lineup, the ageing Ivory Coast international Didier Drogba. The 36-year-old managed to score his first goal of the season on Wednesday as he converted a penalty shot against Maribor. Chelsea will definitely have to play without the services of Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta due to a suspension. United will be missing captain Wayne Rooney as the English international striker is also suspended. Manager Louis van Gaal is also concerned about the health of Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria.
However, United’s biggest concern should be their team defense, which is quite unsteady at best as they’ve allowed 12 goals against. United has managed a pair of clean sheets this season, but they were against the bottom two teams in Burnley and QPR. Also, they failed to score against Burnley as the match ended 0-0. They do possess enough scoring power though with the likes of Robin van Persie, Di Maria, and Radamel Falcao, but van Persie hasn’t lived up to his billing so far this season.
Chelsea has scored 12 times in their four road games this season, but they’ve allowed six against. If Remy and Costa sit out then fans should expect to see Belgian international midfielder Eden Hazard push up into the attack. He’s scored twice in the Premier League this season and also had a pair of goals against Maribor on Wednesday. Spanish international midfielder Cesc Fabregas and his Brazilian counterpart Oscar are also fine offensive players and Chelsea has scored at least two goals in seven of their eight league encounters.
Chelsea beat Man United 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last season and the two teams played to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford as well. Chelsea is undefeated in their last six meetings overall with United. Manchester’s last win came at Stamford Bridge in 2012 when they triumphed 3-2 in a league contest. The two clubs have met 163 times in all competitions with United holding a 68-46 edge in wins with 49 draws. They’ve also outscored the Londoners 266-201. United is 32-20 at Old Trafford with 25 draws and a 118-76 edge in goals scored.