Manchester United v Chelsea: Expect goals as Blues go all out for the win

5May 2013

England - Premier League


Mike Norman believes Manchester United's focus can be called into question ahead of their clash with Chelsea, but however they approach the game goals should be on the  agenda at Old Trafford...


Man Utd v Chelsea

Sunday 16:00, live on Sky Sports 1


It's hard to gauge just how much motivation and focus Manchester United retain at this stage of the season, and for this reason alone, Sunday's home clash with Chelsea  is devilishly difficult from a punting perspective.


But this is the game of the weekend, two giants of English football, the 4pm kick-off on Sky Sports no less, so what kind of wimp would I be if I bottled out of trying  to win myself and Betting.Betfair readers a few quid? So here goes.


I'll commence by making myself clear. When I question United's motivation and focus I do so from a subconscious (on the players part) point of view.


Of course they'll be prepared, they'll be saying all the right things ahead of the game, and they'll be desperate to put on a show for the Old Trafford faithful. But  despite how well prepared you are, and how much effort you say you're going to put in, the mind knows that deep down there's nothing to play for, and subconsciously  your performance can dip a little.


There's no Premier League points record to chase (that's gone), no title to win (that's done), and no cup final to keep players focussed for.


United's situation - albeit a pleasant and relaxing one that should encourage great entertaining football - is in stark contrast to that of Chelsea's. The Blues are on  full throttle still; a top four finish (for which they can be backed at 1.24 to achieve) is the main target, while a Europa League final (they are 1.78 to lift the trophy) presents them with the chance to put the icing on the cake.



Match Odds


The fact that the runaway champions of the Premier League can be backed at 2.2 on home soil perhaps indicates that layers are a bit like me in thinking that United might not be focussed sufficiently to play like champions.


That's not to say United won't win, there'll undoubtedly be times when they have plenty of possession and create chances, but I can't help but question their desire  and motivation. Chelsea on the other hand will be up for this game, and there's arguably not better time for them to be playing Sir Alex Ferguson's men.


If it boils down to who plays at a higher intensity, who wants it more, who needs it more etc, then I'd fancy Rafa Benitez's men. Unfortunately games are not always  won or lost on these factors alone. And that means being confident about a selection in this market isn't easy, but if pushed Chelsea at 3.7 would be the call. The Draw can be backed at 3.6.



Over/Under 3.5 Goals


I notice both Lee Dixon and Michael Cox fancy a low-scoring game - or at least a low-scoring first 45 minutes - but I'm not convinced that will be the case at all.


If Arsenal and Tottenham win their games against QPR and Southampton respectively on Saturday afternoon then the Blues will be clinging on to the final Champions  League qualifying spot by goal difference only. And with Spurs to come in midweek (arguably a tougher game in my opinion despite being at home) they'll want to get  something from this game, and if the opportunity arises, they'll go for the goals to win the game.


Chelsea have only once failed to score away from home in the league since September, and that was against Manchester City so no disgrace there. And they're currently  on a run of 14 league and cup games where they've found the net at least once; in fact they've scored an average of over two goals per game during this time, including  two at Old Trafford in the FA Cup a few months ago.


United haven't failed to score at Old Trafford in the league all season, and games at the Theatre of Dreams have averaged over 3.5 goals per game. I expect the same  here and will recommend a wager at 2.84.



Both team to Score


Given what I've said above I'm of the opinion that the 1.6 available about both teams getting on the scoresheet is an outstanding bet. At the prices I believe the Over 3.5 Goals bet is a better wager, but if I were a big hitter - and I'm far from that - then backing both teams to score would be my only investment in this game.



Recommended Bets

Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.84

Back Both teams to Score @ 1.6



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Keywords: Manchester United, Chelsea, goal, Blues, win

Source: Betfair

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