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In-form Chelsea and Manchester United clash in heavyweight top-four contest
Manchester United to win 2-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: London, Stamford BridgeBet Now
Chelsea had to settle for a point in their midweek clash with Brentford, a result which allowed Manchester United to close the gap on them in the race for that 4th spot near the top of the league.
It was also the first time they have failed to win in the Premier League since the appointment of Graham Potter. It kept up his unbeaten record in charge, however, with seven games passing during that period.
We are in the middle of a hectic period for all teams, and it looked as though Chelsea were lacking a little energy in that game, although we also know how good Brentford can be at home.
Manchester United, on the other hand, showed incredible energy, drive and quality in their game against Tottenham. The Red Devils ran out 2-0 winners in a game they dominated from start to finish.
It was the kind of performance that Erik ten Hag was brought in to deliver and the United manager now has a team he feels is capable of playing his brand of football.
This should be a cracking game.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Remain unbeaten under Graham Potter
The likes of Aubameyang and Sterling were rested in midweek
Reasons to be fearful:
Their opponents are in a rich vein of form
Draw against Brentford was a missed opportunity
In a short space of time, we are beginning to see the sort of football that Graham Potter wants his team to play at Chelsea.
We know from his Brighton days how organised and free flowing his style can be, and now he has the top-quality players at Chelsea to achieve it on a larger scale.
He has also added a steel about Chelsea’s defence that has made them hard to even score against, let alone beat. It is now five clean sheets in a row for the Blues, with Kepa reclaiming the goalkeeping position lately.
Against Manchester United, they face another team in fine form, but one they haven’t lost to at home in three meetings.
They also rested the likes of Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in midweek, so they should be all the sharper here.
Star Man – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The striker has four goals in his eight appearances against Manchester United, while also scoring three goals in his seven games since joining Chelsea.
Reasons to be cheerful
Best performance of the season against Tottenham
Have already beaten big teams like Arsenal and Liverpool
Reasons to be fearful
Not the best record at Stamford Bridge
Need more goals from their strikers
Manchester United’s performance against Tottenham in midweek will have been a joy for their fans to watch. The football on display was of the highest quality and they were dominant in every aspect for their 2-0 win.
We now know exactly how Erik ten Hag wants his United team to play and they looked every inch the modern team out there in that victory.
It’s now nine wins from their last 12 games this season – a fine statistic when you think that they lost their first two games of the campaign is dismal style.
One concern for the manager will be how few goals his strikers are getting. Marcus Rashford was wasteful again in that game, while Sancho has been quiet for some time.
They must develop a killer instinct to continue to be successful in these big games.
Star Man – Bruno Fernandes
The Portuguese playmaker was sensational against Tottenham, scoring a beautiful goal to kill off the game. He hasn’t been at his best this season, but he’s one of the best around when he plays like that.
Should be an even contest
Both sides will create chances in front of goal
Will Chelsea’s unbeaten run continue?
The last four meetings between these two have all been drawn, with neither side scoring more than once in any of them.
That’s how tight this fixture has been in recent times and that is unlikely to change here. If there is a winner, it is likely to be by the narrowest of margins.
It is tempting to predict a draw between these two for that reason. However, with the excellent form of United and the way they destroyed Tottenham, they could have the edge here.
Manchester United to win 2-1
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