Chelsea vs. Manchester United Preview & Prediction: Tight Defensive Battle Anticipated in London

Chelsea vs. Manchester United Preview & Prediction: Tight Defensive Battle Anticipated in London article feature image

Laurence Griffiths/Getty. Pictured: David De Gea.

Chelsea vs. Man United Odds

Chelsea Odds+110
Man United Odds+240
Over/Under2.5 (-125 / -110)
Day | TimeSaturday | 12:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchNBC
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

In Saturday's marquee Premier League fixture, Chelsea welcomes big six-rival Manchester United to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are coming off a midweek draw at Brentford while Manchester United captured all three points at home against Tottenham Hotspur. Those results saw Manchester United move within a point of Chelsea in the current table.

Last season, there was nothing separating these two teams as each fixture played to a 1-1 draw.

Chelsea Looking For Positive Bounce

So far this season, Chelsea have ranked as one of the most fortunate teams in the Premier League.

Entering Saturday's fixture against Manchester United, the Blues have a +5 goal differential against only a +0.58 expected goals (xG) on target differential and a cringe-worthy -4 big scoring chances differential.

A lot of that luck has come on the defensive end, where Chelsea have conceded 10 goals against 13.69 xGOT. Just in four fixtures under new manager Graham Potter, Chelsea have conceded one goal against 5.27 xGOT and nine big scoring chances, per

Offensively, Chelsea have also declined under Potter. In those four domestic fixtures, Chelsea is creating only 1.32 xGOT per 90 minutes, down from a season-long average of 1.43.

Manchester United Contending Amidst Drama

After a poor start to the season, Manchester United have begun to turn a corner of late.

Just in their last eight fixtures, the Red Devils have only one defeat – at Manchester United and have won six of the remaining seven fixtures. Just in their previous fixture domestic fixtures, manager Erik ten Hag's squad has created 10.14 xGOT and was held under two xGOT only once.

Defensively, there's still improvement to be had with United. Currently, United sits seventh overall in total xGOT against. However, it is worth noting United also ranks third overall in big scoring chances against and has limited their last two big six opponents not named Manchester City to 1.12 combined xGOT.

Finally, United arrives at this fixture a positive regression candidate. For the season, they are sitting on a +0 goal differential against a +5.02 xGOT differential and a +9 big scoring chances differential.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Blind betting overs in matches between big six clubs has generally proven profitable of late. However, I'm of the opinion this match will be more defensive.

For all of their issues this season, Chelsea are still limiting home opponents to 1.35 xGOT per 90 minutes. At the same time, the Blues are a negative offensive regression candidate at home. Through four fixtures, Potter's side has scored nine goals on only 6.75 xGOT.

Against a United defense rounding into form, that could spell trouble for a Chelsea attack that ranks 11th in big scoring chances created.

Additionally, this is a United team that has created more than 1.25 xG only once in five road fixtures against Brentford, Everton, Southampton, Leicester City and Manchester City. Take City out of the equation and that's hardly what I would describe as "tough" defenses.

For those reasons, I'll back under 2.5 goals so long as it's available at -120 or better.

The Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-110) 

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