Saturday Premier League Betting Odds, Picks, & Predictions: Manchester United vs. Chelsea (Oct. 24)
Ben Stansall/PA Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Timo Werner (center) and Christian Pulisic (right).
- Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United have got off to a hot start in the 2020/21 Premier League season.
- Both teams are struggling defensively and rank near the bottom of the league in expected goals allowed. Of the two, Matthew Trebby thinks Chelsea have a better chance at righting the ship thanks to their high-flying offense.
- He makes a case for backing the Blues as an underdog on Saturday afternoon:
Manchester United vs. Chelsea Odds
|Manchester United Odds||+155 [BET NOW]|
|Chelsea Odds||+170 [BET NOW]|
|Draw Odds||+255 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-143/+116) [BET NOW]|
|Time||12:30 p.m. ET|
Highlighting this set of Premier League fixtures is a clash between a pair of English titans, both of whom are looking to get their domestic campaigns on the right track.
Manchester United hosts Chelsea on Saturday coming off another memorable Champions League win in Paris, while the Blues played a dull 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla. It could be seen as a breakthrough for United, while Chelsea will just be happy to have not conceded a goal.
Both sides could really use a strong domestic performance, with Chelsea entering this match eighth in the table and United in 15th, albeit with a game in hand on most of the table.
Let’s find the betting value here:
The Red Devils will hope to have kick-started their season on Tuesday against Paris Saint-Germain, taking down the French juggernaut, 2-1, thanks to a late Marcus Rashford goal. That result is coming off a 4-1 win in Newcastle last week in the Premier League that saw United score three times after the 85th minute.
There is still reason for concern with United, though. The win in Paris came without Harry Maguire, which will create a selection conundrum given that he was replaced by Axel Tuanzebe, who hasn’t established himself in the United team since his latest loan spell ended in 2019. Maguire is expected to be available for selection against Chelsea, and it’s safe to assume that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pick his captain for a big game.
[Track all of your Premier League bets by downloading The Action Network App.]
Regardless of whether Maguire is selected, United’s defense will be tested by an expensive Chelsea attack that features some of the brightest young talent in the game. Aside from right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has been in stellar form for United this season, there are questions galore in the back for the Red Devils.
Some damning numbers for United’s start: Despite playing one fewer game than 16 other Premier League clubs, United has conceded 9.06 xG this season, second-most in the league behind West Brom. Take away the three penalties that Solskjaer’s side has conceded, and their non-penalty xGA is 6.78, which is still fourth-highest in the league.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
United’s attack hasn’t been covered in glory this season either. They have 5.76 non-penalty xG this season, which is fifth-lowest in the Premier League.
The result in Paris is one that will definitely give the team confidence, but the performances simply haven’t been there yet for United.
Rashford had plenty of chances against the Parisians before finally getting his goal, and he may find himself as United’s center forward against Chelsea with Anthony Martial suspended. Professional goalscorer Edinson Cavani could also be given the start for his debut.
Chelsea, like United, has benefited from the penalty spot this season, as well. The Blues have 9.06 xG this season, good for fifth in the Premier League, but that includes three penalties. Take those out and Chelsea fall to ninth at 6.01 non-penalty xG.
Despite their goalless draw against Sevilla during the week, Chelsea’s attack has shown promise in their last three league games. The Blues have scored 10 goals in that span with a combined 6.86 non-penalty xG, which is a very respectable number.
The best thing to come out of Chelsea’s draw with Southampton last weekend was striker Timo Werner scoring his first two goals for the club. If the German is in form in front of goal, expect the Blues to be, as well.
The problem for Chelsea in those three matches is that they’ve only gotten five points, having registered a pair of 3-3 draws against West Brom and Southampton on either side of a dominant win over Crystal Palace.
The Blues’ defense has been a work in progress since Frank Lampard took over as manager, and veteran Thiago Silva was brought in to provide stability at the back, although he has been at fault for a couple goals that Chelsea have conceded this season.
Silva and Kurt Zouma appear to be the Blues’ preferred defensive pairing with Ben Chilwell and Reece James at fullback. Both Chilwell and James enjoy getting forward, which at times could leave the center of defense exposed.
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is likely to make his Premier League debut for Chelsea with Kepa Arrizabalaga ruled out due to a thigh injury.
Manchester United-Chelsea pick
For now, I’ll back Chelsea to put it together and get the result away from home. Lampard’s team has shown more promise than United early in the league season, and I’d back Chelsea’s defense to use this as a “get right” game against an attack that is yet to put together a stellar performance this season.
A bigger concern is that United has played two at Old Trafford this season and lost both, the latter of which was a 6-1 embarrassment against Tottenham. I don’t think the performance against PSG was enough to convince me that the Red Devils have totally turned a corner.
And even when United score goals, the performances aren’t there. They scored three against Brighton with only 1.58 xG, and United’s four against Newcastle produced 2.22 xG.
Another prop worth keeping an eye on is for a penalty kick to be awarded. These teams have played a combined nine Premier League games this season, and each has had three penalties given to them while United has also conceded three, equalling a total of nine. It’s currently +135 for a penalty kick to be given, which given the track record of these two sides (especially United) is pretty good value.
The PICK: Chelsea +190