Premier League Predictions: Chelsea v Manchester United Match of the Week
The top 2 teams face off, although Manchester United will be the more desperate of the two to get a result here. A lost would push Chelsea up to 25 points compared to United’s 18 points. Manchester United will certainly be hoping that Chelsea’s recent loss in the Champions League coupled with their come from behind win will translate into a result.
Chelsea have been very strong this season with only one draw (away to QPR). Their goal difference is 13 allowing 6 goals overall. Chelsea will be without John Terry and Frank Lampard. The loss of Terry could prove costly against Man United’s attacking diamond. Roberto di Matteo has shown that his three attacking midfielders of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, and Oscar can play together and perform well. If the three of them can link up and overrun United’s midfield and, at times, lax defense then they will add to their goals tally.
For Manchester United they will hope that their recent defensive woes will be solved by Sunday. The midfield will be where the true test lies. United’s true difficulties have been in their midfield protecting the back four (or more specifically their center-halves). This season has been all about scoring more than the opposition. I know, that’s kind of the point of the game, but United has made it their mantra. With Kagawa out I would expect to see Fletcher return to the Premier League and take up a central defender role. However, with his recent health issues I wouldn’t be surprised to see him come off the bench, or, if starting, be substituted.
The real key to this game will be the midfield. Chelsea seem destined to dominate, but United will certainly be pushing themselves forward in attack. Both teams will have some weaknesses in their defensive units so I’m predicting a relatively high scoring game. My final prediction is a 4 – 3 Manchester United win. I know that part of this is due to some bias towards United, but they have shown recently that they are really clicking at the front with van Persie, Rooney and both Welbeck and Hernandez starting to settle in together.
Prediction: Chelsea 3 – 4 Manchester United
Recent results in all competitions:
Chelsea: W, W, W, W, L Manchester United: L, W, W, W, W
What do you think? Will Chelsea hold off United’s attack? Or vice versa?