Manchester United vs Chelsea is always one of the most anticipated Premier League matches of the season and it is one of the first games that fans tend to look for when the fixtures are released in June.
The Blues have made a fantastic start to the 2021-22 campaign and Thomas Tuchel’s side went into the November international break with a three point lead over Manchester City. Despite their early-season advantage, online bookmakers such as 22Bet, who specialize in football betting and ante-post markets, still have the West Londoners priced up as second favorites to clinch the title this season.
Tuchel’s men are scoring an average of 2.45 goals per game, however, it is their defensive solidity which has helped them to cement their lead at the top of the table. They’ve conceded just four times in their opening 11 matches and have managed to keep four clean sheets in their opening five PL matches.
Only three sides have taken points off Chelsea this season and title rivals Manchester City are the only team to have beaten the 2016-17 champions.
In sharp contrast to their opponents, Manchester United have endured an underwhelming start to the campaign. The Red Devils were victorious in just five of their opening 11 matches and have already dropped points against Aston Villa, Southampton and Everton.
The club’s poor start has intensified the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane have both been linked with the job in recent weeks.
They have kept just two clean sheets in their opening 11 matches and are yet to keep the opposition off the scoresheet at Old Trafford. United matches have been hugely entertaining affairs with an average of 3.27 goals per game so far.
Head to Head
The last two meetings between this pair have been largely forgettable affairs, however, these teams have played out a number of decent 90 minute contests in recent seasons. In July 2019, Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners at Old Trafford, with Harry Maguire’s own goal compounding a miserable afternoon for the hosts.
However, that was Chelsea’s only victory against Manchester United in their last nine meetings. In October 2018, they were involved in an enthralling 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge with Ross Barkley netting an injury time equalizer to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Across the last 40 meetings, these two sides have eachclaimed 14 victories, with the remaining 12 contests ending all-square. 53% of those games ended with both teams finding the back of the net.
Although Romelu Lukaku has attracted the majority of the headlines for Chelsea this season, there are a number of other Blues stars who have caught the eye so far this campaign.
The Croatian midfielder has made eight appearances so far this season, and although he’s only netted a single goal, his overall contribution has been key to Chelsea’s early-season success. He has registered five assists and has an 88.6% pass success rate.
Although Chelsea’s defence has been incredibly sturdy so far, it’s in-formReece James’ contribution in the final third which has been key. The marauding full-back has chipped in with four goals and three assists so far this campaign despite playing just 461 minutes of Premier League football.
Although the Portuguese international wasn’t able to help guide his side to the 2022 World Cup this month, the Man United playmaker always plays an important role and tends to come to life in significant matches. He’s scored four times and registered an assist so far. With an average of 3.5 shots per game, he is always likely to test the opposition goalkeeper.
Although Pogba regularly comes under pressure from the media, he has enjoyed a relatively decent season so far. He’s failed to find the back of the net in his opening seven appearances, however, he’s chipped in with seven assists so far and is likely to play a significant role here.
Even if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no longer be in charge by the time this fixture comes around, it is hard to imagine his successor being able to get a stranglehold on this collection of individuals. Chelsea are working as a team and are defensively robust and should have enough to pick up a narrow win. Games between these two sides have been relatively low-scoring in recent seasons so we’re not expecting a classic.
Prediction – Man United 0-1 Chelsea