Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions for Chelsea vs. Manchester United (Sunday, Feb. 28)
Michael Regan/Getty Images. Pictured (left to right): Harry Maguire, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Scott McTominay.
- Manchester United takes on Chelsea in Premier League action Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
- Both teams are jockeying for position in the top four, with the Red Devils safely in the mix at the moment.
- Check out Anthony Dabbundo's full betting analysis complete with updated odds and pick below.
Chelsea vs. Manchester United Odds
|Manchester United Odds||+240|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -122)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 11:30 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
Two of the Premier League’s current top four clubs will meet Sunday at Stamford Bridge in London when Manchester United visits Chelsea.
The Blues are unbeaten in England’s top flight since manager Thomas Tuchel took over, while the Red Devils have slipped up in the title race in recent weeks.
Since Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard and turned to Tuchel as manager, its defense has improved significantly.
Tuchel’s press-and-possess style has helped the Blues’ defense because Chelsea has so much more of the ball than it had prior. But its attack has not been great or consistent at creating big scoring chances since Tuchel took over. Chelsea has created 8.6 xG in six matches since Tuchel started, an average of 1.43 per match.
At the other end, Chelsea’s defense is now comfortably second-best in the PL behind Manchester City. The Blues have yet to allow more than 0.7 xGA in a match under their new German manager.
The switch to the back three has helped Chelsea’s defense, as N’Golo Kanté was not nearly as effective in the single-pivot role in front of the back four this season under Lampard as he was in years prior.
The Blues’ attack is still being held back by Tuchel’s unwillingness to play some of his best chance creators in Kai Havertz or Hakim Ziyech. Instead, most of the creative production has come from Mason Mount in the middle, or Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi out wide.
This has implications for taking on this Manchester United defense specifically, which has had issues with its wide forwards not tracking back defensively. It’s been vulnerable up the wings all season, and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær will need his forwards to track back to provide support for the Blues overlapping wing back runs.
This creates knock-on effects when United’s attack will look to counter this Chelsea team.
Manchester United followed up a lifeless draw against West Brom with a dominant two-legged win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League and a solid win over struggling Newcastle in between.
The Red Devils’ underlying numbers aren’t as good as the Blues over the entire season, hence their position as road underdogs in this game.
United has 53 goals from 41 xGF this season, making it the largest over-performers in the league in attack.
Its defense has been shaky, except in big matches. United allowed one goal in two matches with Arsenal (a penalty), kept a clean sheet against Liverpool, City and Chelsea in their first meetings with all three. United’s defense has been very vulnerable in transition when its wide forwards don’t put in any defensive work.
When it sets up behind the ball and looks to counter, though, it’s been much better in defense and inconsistent in attack. Because it sacrifices some numbers ahead of the ball to defend, it wins the ball further from the opposition goal. Without Paul Pogba in the team, the Red Devils are lacking a primary ball progresser to link up with Bruno Fernandes and unlock the attack.
Edinson Cavani is expected back for this game, which likely means Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood as the wingers, and a Fred and Scott McTominay double pivot. It’s the lineup United has used when it expects to be in possession less, as the Red Devils will surely be on Sunday.
Betting Analysis & Picks
An early goal can always change the calculus, but Chelsea is in tight contention for the top four, and United’s safely there at the moment.
The onus will be on the Blues to find the goal and break down United. Expect a cagey affair in this match, much like the first meeting. I project 2.33 goals in this game, and because of tactics, like under 2.5 even more. I’d play it to -125.
Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-125 or better)