Champions League betting – Chelsea v Manchester United
Chelsea v Manchester United betting preview, odds and tips
Chelsea may finally now be able to give up on their title challenge after a draw with Stoke this weekend, 11 points behind leaders, and Champions League Quarter Final opposition, Manchester United with only eight games to play, albeit with a game in hand.
Although they beat Manchester United at home at the start of March, they showed frailties throughout the 90 minutes, and David Luiz was lucky to be on the pitch to score his equaliser after a series of fouls went unpunished whilst on a yellow card. This weekend at Stoke they had chances to win the game, and went close on a number of occasions, yet so did their opponents, who arguably had more clear cut chances.
The question in the build up to such a big game will be how Ancelotti sets out his strike force. Torres was preferred to Drogba, with Anelka alongside him, when the two sides met last month, but the £50 million man is still yet to score, or come close. Drogba was on target at the weekend and is clearly the man in better form. Top scorer Anelka seems to have the backing of his manager, so it’s down to the two heavyweights to battle for a place.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side come into the business end of the season with the chance of winning another famous treble. Another string has been added to their impressive attacking front line with the return of Antonio Valencia. Whilst United toiled in the first half against West Ham this weekend, Valencia was a constant thorn in the side of the defence. The tide turned when Ferguson brought strikers Berbatov and Hernandez off the bench, joining Rooney in a three pronged strike force.
The defence that looked so shaky against Liverpool and Chelsea could be boosted by the return of Rio Ferdinand, although Chris Smalling has proved himself a worthy deputy when alongside captain Nemanja Vidic.
Their weakness lies in midfield, an area where it’s hard to predict who will play as each game approaches. The in-form Nani was dropped for the West Ham game, whilst Ji-Sung Park and Gibson both played. With Fletcher’s place in doubt, the Scottish midfielder is struggling with a virus, it is really anyone’s guess to how the side will line-up in midfield, or even the system as a whole.
Match Prediction: DRAW – 3.3 Victor Chandler – sign up for a free £25 bet
The tie last month was the perfect cliché, a game of two halves. United were all over Chelsea in the first half, but the momentum swang across to the West Londoners, and they capitalised with two goals to win the game.
Chelsea’s success could depend on who leads their attack. Is any Chelsea fan confident in Torres’ performances that he should play in such an important tie. Both him and Drogba could win their side the game if they perform to their best, yet neither have this season, less so Torres who has looked a shadow of his former self.
Rooney is the only Manchester United striker definite of a place come Wednesday, and with all this conjecture over who will start up front for both sides, the better bet may be a bigger priced midfielder for first goal.
Without a goal for quite some time, and full of shots in their game at Stoke on Saturday, Michael Essien may be worth a pop at 19.00.
The game itself will most likely be a tight affair, with neither side wanting the game out of their grasp ahead of the second leg, Chelsea not daring to leave too much space for United to get an away goal and the Reds probably more than happy to take a draw back to Old Trafford.
Over/Under: Under 2.5 Goals – 1.62 Sky Bet
First Goalscorer: Michael Essien – 19.00 Blue Square
Correct Score: 1-1 Draw – 6.5 Will Hill
By Chris Wilkerson
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