Chelsea v Manchester United Betting Preview
Back Chelsea to reach the FA semi-finals with a win
The Blues are top of the Premier League and appear to be cruising towards the title. Antonio Conte is enjoying one of the finest first seasons we’ve ever seen, guiding Chelsea to a ten-point lead at the top with 11 games to go. They’ve won 18 of their last 21 games in all competitions, and with a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool being their only blemish in that period, and they look a very tough side to beat.
Conte’s men comfortably saw off Wolverhampton in the last round, and despite not having the most difficult of runs their FA Cup form this season has been emphatic. They put four goals past both Peterborough and Brentford before netting twice in the last round, and have only conceded once in their three matches so far. To make matters worse for Manchester United, Chelsea have won 15 of their 16 matches at Stamford Bridge in all competitions, netting 47 times. I think it will be close, but Chelsea just look too strong at the moment.
While United will be happy with their long run of good form, this is the worst time to face their bogey side. Their recent record at Stamford Bridge is poor enough, but the ease at which Chelsea have been winning games this season will worry Jose Mourinho’s men heading into Monday’s clash. Despite being unbeaten in the league since October, the Red Devils remain sixth in the Premier League table, 17 points behind leaders Chelsea.
However, since their emphatic 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge five months ago, Manchester United have been playing some excellent football and have started to find their rhythm under Mourinho, and they already have a domestic trophy under their belt. They too have enjoyed an impressive cup run, and some would argue they’ve faced more testing sides than Chelsea. United have scored in every away match since that 4-0 defeat to the Blues, and they’ll need to be ruthless in front of goal on Monday night to stand a chance. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended and will be hugely missed, so the onus could fall on young Marcus Rashford to try to guide them through to the semi-finals.
United have had very little success in this fixture over the last few years, with their last win coming back in 2012. Chelsea have won five and drawn six of the last 11 meetings between the two, and have won four of the last five at Stamford Bridge, conceding only two goals. With Ibrahimovic missing, United will face another difficult task on Monday night.
To score – Diego Costa 6/5
The Spaniard has one goal in his two appearances in the competition so far, netting against Wolverhampton in the last round. He’s a player in form, and his league statistics show just that. He has found the net 17 times in 25 appearances, a tally bettered only by Harry Kane (19) and Romelu Lukaku (18). He’s also scored in Chelsea’s last two matches, and you would expect Costa to lead the line for Chelsea on Monday. You can back odds of 6/5 for Costa to score at any time.
Both teams to score – Yes 1/1
Chelsea’s defensive record this season suggests Stamford Bridge is not an easy place for any opponent to find the net. The Blues have been defensively solid at home all season, but Manchester United’s impressive goal-scoring record away from home will worry them. I expect goals from both sides, but it wouldn’t be unusual to see Mourinho set his side up for a 0-0 draw to take the tie to extra time. This is a risky market but I’m backing both teams to score at 1/1.
Match odds – Chelsea 10/11
Manchester United will certainly give their all in trying to reach the semi-finals of the competition, but it’s difficult to see them getting past a Chelsea side in such good form. Conte has found the perfect formula at the Bridge, and at the moment they look almost unstoppable. You can backs odds of 10/11 for Chelsea to win the tie in 90 minutes or 2/5 to qualify. Odds of 13/5 are available for the draw, and a Manchester United win is priced at 7/2.
Writer’s prediction: Chelsea 2 – 1 Manchester United
*odds correct at the time of writing