Chelsea vs. Manchester United Premier League Soccer Picks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:30 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2015 11:30 PM UTC

Manchester United has finally found its groove under new manager Louis van Gaal, but on Saturday, the Red Devils will really be up against it versus league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge—a place the hosts never lose at under José Mourinho. But can MUFC crack the code and reward bettors at as +280 dogs?

Odds Overview
Chelsea vs. Manchester United, Saturday 17:30 CEST (NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra, Fubo TV (US), Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra, NOW TV (UK); 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT):
So you thought you might like to go to the show, to feel the warmth of English Premier League leaders Chelsea (22-7-2, 64 GF-26 GA, 73 points) hosting 3rd-place Manchester United (19-8-5, 59 GF-30 GA, 65 points) at Stamford Bridge in West London on Saturday in the big match of Week 32? Them do it, comrade.

Soccer odds makers have hosts and league legends Chelsea priced as -105 favorites with Manchester United healthy +280 underdogs and the Draw priced at +250 (bet365) for this dance, with the Total Goals set at 2½ Under -125 (Over +100, bet365). The Both Teams To Score Prop wager sees both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ both priced at -120 (Sky Bet), while a couple of other random Prop wagers for this showdown are: Draw No Bet: Chelsea -225, Manchester United +162 (bet365); Correct Score: 1-1 +600, Chelsea 1-0 +650, Chelsea 2-0 +900, Manchester United +1000 (bet365); and, To Win To Nil: Chelsea +200, Manchester United +600 (Ladbrokes). Scrumptious, eh?


Manchester United FC
Manchester United (5-7-3 Away, 19 GF-17 GA) sits in an impressive 3rd place in the English Premier League and, with just 6 games to go, first-year manager Louis van Gaal and the Red Devils look like they will be earning another UEFA Champions League berth behind the stellar play of underrated GK David De Gea. Here in Londontown against Chelsea and The Special One—José Mourinho—it will be All Hands (And Feet) On Deck for United. Dutch striker Robin van Persie (10 goals, +250 Anytime Goalscorer, Sky Bet) and Wayne Rooney (12 goals, +200) are the Red Devils two big guns, but the Blues—who have the second-best defense in the league (26 GA, Southampton #1, 22 GA)—will also have to worry about former two-time Chelsea Player of the Year Juan Mata (8 goals, +500) coming back to The Bridge and helping hand the man who sent him packing (Mourinho) that first Loss at Home. Nothing worse than being haunted by a Spaniard. Toss in talents like summer-signees Marouane Fellaini (5 goals, +300) and Ángel Di María (+400), Radamel Falcao (4 goals, Anytime Goalscorer +162,  +137, bet365), James Wilson (+350), Ander Herrera (5 goals, +500), Ashley Young (2 goals, +500), Chris Smalling (4 goals, +900) and Antonio Valencia (+1200), and this team has more than enough firepower to be that team to finally beat the mighty Blues at The Bridge and one can see why they have been so successful, despite the choppy start under the new Dutch manager. Rooney and De Gea have been the main two building blocks with the play of Mata, Fellaini and Ferrara being a very pleasant surprise.

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Chelsea FC
Chelsea (12-3-0 Home, 30 GF-7 GA, 73 points) holds a 7-point lead over 2nd-place Arsenal heading in here and has a game in hand on the Gunners, so, Blues manager José Mourinho has his team in a very good situation but this one against the Red Devils will be a really big test with 7 games to go, especially the way that Chelsea has been playing of late, almost pedestrian at Home it seems. But still, the numbers don’t lie and the 12-3-0 mark and 7 GA really stand out and are a real testament to this team’s back four—captain John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill and César Azpilicueta—and its stellar goalkeeping tandem of young’n Thibaut Courtois and old’n Petr Cech. With leading scorer Diego Costa (19 goals) still out injured, Mourinho will likely plug either club legend Didier Drogba (3 goals, Anytime Goalscorer +137, bet365) or Loïc Rémy (5 goals, +125) at the striker spot in the team’s familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. In the Attacking Midfield and the Central (Defensive) Midfield, Chelsea and Mourinho will likely start playmaker extraordinaire Eden Hazard (12 goals, 6 assists, +125), Oscar (6 goals, 7 assists, +240), Willian (2 goals, +300), Cesc Fàbregas (3 goals, 16 assists, +300) and Nemanja Matic (+550). But anyone who has watched Chelsea lately can see a team pretty much devoid of an offensive striker with the aging (37 years old) Ivorian Drogba just not possessing the same leg power and stamina he did even two years ago while at the club and Rémy has not getting enough playing time. Goals should be hard to come by for the host Blues here and Chelsea will be aware of that reality and nervous heading in, so, use that in your handicap. The total number of quality shots on both goals in this fixture should end up being minimal with defense ruling the day.


Series Trends and Best Betting Approaches
Due to years of talented teams, Manchester United holds the upper hand in this series as Chelsea is 48-48-68 (207 GF-269 GA) lifetime in all competitions versus the Red Devils. In English Premier League play, the Blues are 23-17-30 (106 GF-121 GA) lifetime at Home at Stamford Bridge against the Red Devils and Chelsea is 42-41-58 (180 GF-233 GA) overall in all EPL meetings with Manchester United. So, under the glory years of Sir Alex Ferguson, the visitors from Red Mancunia somewhat dominated this series up until Chelsea got better with the sudden influx of cash Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich poured into his new hobby with his plethora of Oil Money after he bought the club. Who says Money can’t buy you happiness? And an occasional Fernando Torres along the way? In all seriousness, this should be extremely tight. When these two met earlier this season at Old Trafford in Week 9, the game ended in a 1-1 draw (0-0 halftime), and the Blues are 2-2-0 in the L4 against United (0-0, 3-1, 0-0, 1-0), allowing just 1 Red Devils goal in those L4 and Chelsea is an amazing 7-4-1 over the L11 against the Red Devils, making those above numbers a little more even. So, Under-ish games in the L4 (3-1) meetings although the 5 previous all went flying Over.

Despite Chelsea’s dominance at Home under Mourinho, 0 losses at Home at Stamford Bridge this season and 7 goals allowed on their sacred home SW6 soil, this match is too tough to call with the Blues so anemic on offense of late and star striker Costa still hobbled. The Under seems like the only real play worth recommending here at Sportsbook Review in a game which will have extremely high expectations—it’s being televised nationally NBC—but which could quite possibly disappoint in the entertainment category, especially with the probably the Premier League’s three best GKs (Courtois, Cech, De Gea) all in one place and ready to go. And, much like Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Leg 1 scrum between Real Madrid-Atlético Madrid, this game could quite possibly end up with a 0-0 scoreline. And if I could predict a Final score of ½-½ below, I would, but that would likely confuse ye, thee end-user. In short, this will probably be very close and low-scoring, and definitely not the best game on the Betting Board on which to try to make some cash this weekend. Too often bettors fall in love with big, televised games and over-bet them with their soccer picks. Manchester United is just too good right now to slight in this situation and Rooney has been absolutely magical.

Predicted Final Score: Chelsea 1 Manchester United 1

Premier League Soccer Picks: Under 2½ -125 (bet365)

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