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Penalties may be the only way to separate Man Utd and Chelsea

Such is Manchester United’s dominance in the Premier League this term that it’s easy to forget that the FA Cup has become Chelsea’s preserve of late, with the South London mob lifting the trophy in four of the last six seasons in spite of the intermittent firing of the Stamford Bridge ejector seat.

Chelsea had all but ceded their place in the semi final to Fergie’s charges with a listless first half performance at Old Trafford and this has become something of a running theme for them of late having scored just twice before half time in their last 10 games. United are 9/4 to win the first half once more.

That 2-2 was just the latest in a series of ding-dong affairs that have seen the last five meetings between the sides hurdle the 3.5 goal bar. Both sides have dispensed with the backward gear this term, sitting first (Man Utd) and second (Chelsea) in the Premier League’s average goals per game table with 2 or more goals per game.

Both sides have hit the back of the net in nine of the clubs’ last 10 meetings and Coral go 4/9 about  home and away goals being registered.

Despite their incendiary form United’s away record is far from the paper chain of wins that may be expected, with just five victories conjured from their last 11 road games. That said it’s been nine away trips since they’ve lost. The 90 minutes draw is 5/2 with Coral.

Chelsea’s form recent run looks a lot less chequered if just their home form is considered. Rafa Benitez’s interim managerees are unbeaten in nine at the Bridge with seven victories to boast of within that sequence.

Should the game end in stalemate Man United may not be the most reliable of sharpshooters, having been knocked out the Carling Cup on penalties twice in the past two seasons siding with the Blues team who won last year’s Champions League final via the nerve-jangling 12-yard lottery system.