Chelsea to close gap against Manchester United in Monday meeting
Holly Thackeray | December 27, 2015
Manchester United v Chelsea
- Premier League
- Monday, December 28th
- Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
- Old Trafford, Manchester
- Live on BT Sport 1
Old Trafford tussle between two teams in transition
Manchester United host rivals Chelsea in the Premier League’s televised Monday match-up, with both struggling giants in need of a result in this famously feisty fixture.
In a game that could well be Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal’s last stand, United go into the encounter on the back of three dismal league defeats to newly promoted Bournemouth and Norwich City plus Stoke City, and three points adrift of the top four.
Against the Potters Man Utd looked devoid of ideas, so look long at 13/8 for victory, with 21/10 for a draw much more reasonable for the muddled Mancunians.
For under-fire Van Gaal, this battle is also something of a Dutch duel, with Blues interim boss Guus Hiddink the man who briefly took over the now Man Utd manager’s Netherlands squad but failed to guide them to a Euro 2016 finals place.
Red Devils know the drill
Having drawn their sixth league blank of the league season last time out a response is required from the Red Devils, with ageing midfield conductor Michael Carrick stating: “It’s Manchester United we are playing for, it’s a special club and it’s a privilege to play. We need to do better, it’s as simple as that.”
France forward Anthony Martial is yet again United’s best hope of rippling the Blues’ net, and is 7/4 to score anytime, while Spain playmaker Juan Mata is 11/4 in the same market to dent his former club.
Such a big occasion should raise the temperature at Old Trafford, where 15th placed Chelsea have won just once in their last seven attempts across all competitions. Though they have not lost on either of their past two visits, making that 21/10 price for a draw more tempting.
Londoners showing tentative signs of turnaround
Though, the Blues still look the best bet to back if you fancy to take a chance on a winner. You can place a stake of 9/5 for Hiddink’s side to triumph, or at 11/2 in an enhanced match special for the Blues to win and both teams to score (maximum stake £20).
Since Jose Mourinho, now linked heavily with the Red Devils hotseat, left Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have not been beaten, with a victory and a draw in their last two games.
In the biggest blow for the Blues, main dangerman Diego Costa is suspended for this scuffle after seeing yellow against Watford. Though, Chelsea wingman Willian is a tempting 10/3 in the anytime market, with Oscar 8/1 to open scoring.
Before the match Hiddink highlighted his side’s spirit to fightback for a draw against the Hornets, saying: “Every Chelsea versus Manchester United game is big but this one is especially of course. I hope we can show the same ambition there that we showed in a big part of this game.” While neither side are in vintage form, then, the Blues look most likely to bring resistance to this battle.
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