Both Chelsea and Manchester United have experienced rollercoaster starts to the season, with the Blues having sacked manager Thomas Tuchel and the Reds’ progress under Erik ten Hag characterised by some impressive ‘big six’ wins and the occasional thrashing.
The two sides currently occupy fourth and fifth in the EPL table, while just a point separates them heading into their weekend clash at Stamford Bridge.
Ten Hag’s men added another top six scalp in midweek, outclassing Spurs in an excellent win at Old Trafford. But Chelsea have also been impressive under new manager Graham Potter, so will they have the edge this weekend?
Potter and Ten Hag Making Their Marks
Potter has enjoyed unassuming success so far at Chelsea, remaining unbeaten in six matches without his team yet hitting top gear.
Although this momentum halted with a disappointing 0-0 draw at Brentford in this week, the Bees can be a match for any side with their aggression and high intensity.
As for the Red Devils, they produced their best 90-minute performance under Ten Hag against a cowed Spurs side at Old Trafford, dominating from start to finish and reigning an incredible 28 shots (including 10 on target) on Hugo Lloris’ goal.
Regardless, both managers have made their mark in relatively short periods of time. Chelsea are already a little more possession-oriented and easier on the eye than they were under Thomas Tuchel, while Potter appears to be focused on engaging all of the players in the Blues’ huge squad and making the most of the assets at his disposal.
As for Ten Hag, their midweek was the culmination of several months work, which have seen United tighten up their attacking and defensive shapes in a way that has improved their pressing and contributed to a much higher tempo and intensity when in possession of the ball.
Who Has the Edge Between the Two Sides?
The bookies have made Chelsea narrow favourites to win at the Bridge, thanks largely to the sheer depth of their squad and the importance of home advantage.
To this end, the Blues are 23/20 with most sportsbooks to win, while United can be backed at around 261/100.
The draw is 13/5, with this arguably offering more value given the evenly matched nature of both sides. So, although the current GGpoker sign-up offer offers huge value to punters, there are some interest betting markets associated with the Chelsea vs Manchester United matchup.
What’s clear is that while United will look to make the most of the ball when they have it at the Bridge, they’re likely to adopt an aggressive counterattacking style given Potter’s penchant for possession-based football.
The game will then become a battle to see how effectively Chelsea can sustain attacks against United and their counter press (something they struggled with against Brentford), while the Red Devils will need all of their defensive resolve and aggression to keep a mobile Blues attack at bay.
On balance, we’re opting for a keenly contested draw here, particularly as both sides will be keen to avoid defeat and continue their excellent progress from recent weeks.