Manchester United will hit the road to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight. The Red Devils have faced quite a few stern tests already this season and, having braved most of them, they’ll fancy their chances against the Blues tonight.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has emerged as an unlikely hero in recent weeks for Chelsea. Graham Potter’s men are unbeaten in their last seven matches across all competitions. They were held to a goalless stalemate by Brentford in midweek.
As things stand, Chelsea are fourth in the table with 20 points from 10 games, while Manchester United are fifth with 19 points. Both sides will want to win and keep a firm foot inside the top four.
Although they will be playing in enemy territory, we fancy Manchester United to take all three points tonight. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five reasons why Manchester United will beat Chelsea.
5. Chelsea’s awful record against Manchester United in the Premier League
Despite United’s misfortunes and maladies in recent seasons, they have consistently held their own against Chelsea. Even as they were navigating a crisis last season, they managed to hold the Blues to two draws in the league.
Chelsea have failed to pick up a single victory in their last nine Premier League games against the Red Devils. They have drawn six and lost thrice. If they have found United difficult to break down in the past, they’ll find it even harder now.
4. Chelsea’s first real test of the Premier League season
Chelsea looked vulnerable against Aston Villa and Brentford in their latest outings. A sharper attacking unit would have definitely put an end to their clean sheet streak. Chelsea have managed to keep five successive clean sheets in all competitions.
But that could change against Manchester United. United unleashed wave after wave of attacks against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek. They registered 28 shots in the game and if their finishing was a bit better, they could have demolished Antonio Conte’s side.
The only Premier League top-six side that Chelsea have faced so far this season are Tottenham Hotspur. Despite their lofty position in the table, Spurs have not been all that convincing. Chelsea have beaten AC Milan twice in the Champions League quite comfortably.
But Manchester United will be a tougher proposition given their current form.
3. Manchester United are in good form
Manchester United got off to the worst possible start to the 2022-23 Premier League season. They lost to Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford in their first two games by a combined scoreline of 6-1. But ever since, they’ve only suffered one defeat and that came against Manchester City.
United have won six of their last eight Premier League games. After starting off cautiously, there is definitely a bit of swagger about United now. Ten Hag’s plans seem to be coming together and United are quick at getting the ball forward and also efficient at getting bodies behind the ball during defensive transitions.
They produced their best performance yet against Tottenham Hotspur in midweek. United dominated Spurs for the length of the game and did not give them a chance. If they can replicate those levels at Stamford Bridge tonight, Chelsea are going to have their work cut out.
2. United’s pacy frontline will test Chelsea’s defence
With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended by the club and Anthony Martial ruled out with an injury, Manchester United will stick to the same frontline they used in midweek. Marcus Rashford, Antony and Jadon Sancho are three extremely quick and tricky forwards who could pose a problem for any defense in Europe.
Antony has been in excellent form this season. The Brazilian’s burst of pace, ball progression skills and ability to test the goalkeeper from range have endeared him to United fans in no time. Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford will need to improve the quality and consistency of their final product.
But both have offered flashes of genius on a regular basis. Neither Kalidou Koulibaly nor Thiago Silva are known for their pace. They will need to be on their toes to keep the United attackers at bay tonight.
1. Manchester United’s performances in big games so far this term
Manchester United have already had to face Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. They have managed to pick up wins against Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
United did not turn up for the first half against Manchester City and ended up losing the game 6-3. They have not lost a game since. United were clearly the better team against Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs.
They have stepped it up in big games and produced an emphatic performance against Spurs in midweek. Ten Hag is not the kind of coach who tolerates mediocrity and this United side are now well aware of that.