JOSE MOURINHO heads back to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea with his under-pressure Manchester United side on Saturday. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) picks out his favourite betting angle.
Chelsea v Manchester United | Saturday 20th October 2018, 12:30 | Sky Sports
Odds as big as 17/4 on Manchester United to win at Chelsea is an indictment of how far the Red Devil’ have fallen. It took a rousing second-half display to come from 2-0 down to beat Newcastle a fortnight ago, and any momentum taken from that could’ve been lost due to the international break coming straight after.
Jose Mourinho will hope that isn’t the case as he goes back to his old stomping ground. The manager that first arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004 brought new and innovative ideas, however football is ever-changing and many argue that he has failed to move with the times.
Mou goes into this clash with doubts over the fitness of central midfield quartet Nemanja Matic, Andre Herrara, Scott McTominay and Maroune Felliani leaving them potentially light in the middle of the park. History has seen Jose bring in the likes of Marouane Felliani and Herrara for games away to the Big Six in order to bulk out that midfield and play a physical game. Their absence will be a blow.
In the other dugout, Maurizio Sarri has taken to the English top-flight like a duck to water and his players have adapted to his style impressively. Eden Hazard has been the shining light scoring 7seven goals this season, and his partnership with Olivier Giroud has been slick on the eye with the Frenchman helping out by topping the assist chart with four.
Goals on the agenda?
8/11 quotes on the hosts do look justified all things considered but I’m happy to take a goals based angle here. We associate Mourinho teams with low-scoring games however this season has seen that switch quite dramatically; the Red Devils are posting an average of 3.34 goals in their games on the Expected Goals metric.
Chelsea are seeing 2.77 on the xG standings so goals could be on the agenda at the Bridge.
Both Teams To Score has been chalked up at 4/5 with Matchbook and that catches the eye. The aforementioned injuries in defensive midfield for the visitors may mean they have to play in a more offensive fashion, in addition 6/8 of United’s games have seen BTTS cop.
It hasn’t been so prevalent in Chelsea games but the underlying performance data shows their opponents have been slightly profligate in front of goal and the Blues have been a tad lucky.
Oppose ill-disciplined Red Devils
The discipline levels between these two is also eye-opening. Chelsea are a fairly unaggressive and their keep-ball ethos means they tend to get fouled more than they foul themselves. This has seen the Blues pick up just the five yellow cards this season.
It’s the opposite when looking at Man United; they’re a much more aggressive side and don’t mind taking a card when they have to. They’ve picked up 14 yellows and one red and that makes it a mismatch in the bookings market.
United are fair 8/13 favourites to pick up the Most Bookings in this encounter but I’m happy to take them on the -1 line on the Card Handicap given the fact they’re away from home.
Bet365 go 7/5 on this option and we’ll get paid out if the Red Devils pick up two or more cards than Chelsea.