Sunday brings the most severe test yet of Manchester United‘s 21-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League as champions-elect Chelsea come calling at Old Trafford.
The stats suggest an impressive run from the Red Devils but Jose Mourinho must be concerned by six draws in 11 league games since the turn of the year.
The United boss would in all likelihood accept the notion of another stalemate against his former employers this time around, with the draw a 43/20 chance.
United’s poor recent record against Chelsea pre-dates Mourinho’s arrival and he has himself contributed to a 12-match winless run for the Red Devils against Sunday’s opponents.
It would have been a chastising experience for Mourinho to watch his new club going down so easily at Stamford Bridge in October when Chelsea won the reverse fixture 4-0.
The Portuguese saw his tactics wiped out almost instantly when Pedro scored within a minute for Chelsea.
It is safe to anticipate the home side will be well warned against conceding early in this contest and at 10/13 it is worth considering a wager on no goals being scored in the first 30 minutes.
Despite home advantage, it is not anticipated that Mourinho’s tactics will deviate far from the stifling efforts deployed during last month’s 1-0 FA Cup loss at Stamford Bridge.
According to Mourinho, his best hope of Champions League qualification is now via winning the Europa League but, even allowing for that fact, it’s hard to see how he’ll play a weakened team in this fixture.
With home games looming up against Southampton, Middlesbrough, Watford and Sunderland, Antonio Conte will be pitching up at Old Trafford knowing his title quest is not going to hinge on this game.
As such, if the game remains tight in the closing stages then it’s entirely plausible that both teams will see enough positives in a stalemate to settle for that outcome. The 1-1 draw is 21/4 and is a standout bet for this game.
On the goalscoring front, United will once more be looking to Zlatan Ibrahimovic – without whose goals their season would be in disarray.
The Swede is by some considerable distance United’s most potent threat and may oblige punters at 11/10 in the anytime scorer market.
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