MANCHESTER UNITED face Chelsea in Sunday evening's FA Cup semi-final showdown from Wembley. Jack Lambden (@_JackL_) analyses the encounter.
Manchester United vs Chelsea | Sunday 19th July 2020, 18:00 | BBC
Top four Premier League rivals Manchester United and Chelsea face off for the fourth time this season, with United looking to extend their 100% record against Frank Lampard’s men in 2019/20.
An empty Wembley plays hosts to two clubs that have enjoyed plenty of FA Cup success over the years, winning this competition twenty times between them. Although the pursuit of a Champions League place is the priority for both sets of players, the chance of returning to North West London on 1st August to win silverware certainly shouldn’t be sniffed at.
United and Chelsea are both still very much in transition under the stewardship of their former players, with a core of experienced players backed up by some very talented youngsters who should feature more regularly and contribute to trophies in years to come.
It’s United however that I’ve been most impressed with in 2020 and, whilst they still look vulnerable defensively with the odd piece of brainless defending (see Maguire marking his own player for Southampton’s equaliser last week), they have been frightening going forward for some time now.
It’s referenced a lot but the addition of Bruno Fernandes has certainly led to the Red Devils going up a gear in terms of their final third output and I’m pleasantly pleased to see the 6/5 available with Bet365 on United to have Over 4.5 Shots-On-Target here.
It’s a bet that has landed in 13 of their last 14 matches, with Fernandes contributing heavily to the team tallies and with Chelsea looking unsure at the back themselves against any form of testing opposition, I’m happy to put some money behind it. For context, the same line is 8/11 with Betfair so the 365 price looks to be good value given how often it is banking.
The second angle I want to look at is in the bookings market – Brandon Williams to be carded at 23/10 with William Hill. Although the left-back should start here with Luke Shaw ruled out, I’d advise waiting until the teams are announced before placing the bet as Hills will not void the bet if he’s on the bench.
Williams has been booked 8 times this season and in 5 of his 9 Premier League starts which is perhaps unsurprising given how rash he sometimes is in the challenge. He’s likely to be up against the tricky Willian, an opponent he was booked against in his outing against the Blues. Should Williams start, he’s unlikely going to be 100% given his recent facial injury and Chelsea could well target that.
To add into the mix, the card prolific Mike Dean is in charge of the whistle at Wembley and he’s already shown Williams a yellow card on two occasions this season.
It’s very difficult to predict who will come out on top in the outrights here with both teams having one eye on their next Premier League fixtures in midweek so the prop plays look the better routes in.
Manchester United vs Chelsea – Manchester United Over 4.5 Shots On-Target (6/5 Bet365)
Manchester United vs Chelsea – Brandon Williams to be Carded (23/10 William Hill)