Premier League: Man United v Chelsea Preview

3 weeks ago

Man United v Chelsea

Sunday, Feb 25 – 14:05

Man United were held to a 0-0 draw by Sevilla in their midweek Champions League game, and are now undefeated in two competitive matches, following their 1-0 loss to Newcastle a fortnight ago. Jose Mourinho opted to leave star midfielder Paul Pogba on the bench for the Sevilla game, leading to further questions over a possible rift between the manager and the player. Pogba was brought on early to replace an injured Ander Herrera, but failed to make an impact on the game. The Frenchman could find himself left out in the cold again today, with youngster Scott McTominay impressing for United in his last two appearances. The Red Devils remain second in the Premier League table on 56 points.

Chelsea recovered from their shock 4-1 defeat to Watford with a series on good performances, beating both West Brom and Hull City, and holding Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in their midweek clash. Winger Willian has been an key figure for the Blues recently, and was the stand out performer in both the Hull City and Barcelona games. The Brazilian could play an important role in today’s match, with striker Alvaro Morata currently struggling to find consistent form. Chelsea head into today’s game fourth on the leaderboard, three points behind Man United.

What the stats tell us:

  • Man United have only managed to win one of their last 14 competitive matches against Chelsea (D5 L8) – winning 2-0 in this fixture last season.
  • The Blues will be looking to win both league games against Man United for the first time since the 2009/10 season.
  • Only Liverpool (4) have won more Premier League doubles over the Red Devils than Chelsea 93) in the history of the competition.
  • In fact, Man United have lost 18 matches in the Premier League against Chelsea, conceding 67 goals – more than against any other club.
  • Antonio Conte has won three of his four competitive matches against Jose Mourinho as Chelsea manager (W3 L1).
  • Man United have only managed to score more than one goal against a ‘Big Six’ opponent on one occasion under Jose Mourinho (W3 D2 L2).
  • Mourinho has only lost two of his 32 games at Old Trafford in the Premier League, with both defeats coming against Man City (W18 D12).
  • The Portuguese has lost three competitive matches against his former club Chelsea as Man United manager – more than against any other side.
  • Eden Hazard has scored from each of his last three shots on target – prior to this he scored just three goals from 31 attempts from open play.
  • Romelu Lukaku has failed to find the back of the next in each of his six games against ‘Big Six’ clubs this season.

After being trashed 4-0 at Stamford Bridge last season, Man United managed to completely dominate Chelsea in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford, eventually winning the match 2-0. There have been some huge changes to both squads since then, but Jose Mourinho’s tactics will no doubt remain the same – try to nullify Eden Hazard, and essentially set his team up not to lose. Chelsea have performed well in their last three competitive matches, but they simply cannot afford to sacrifice three points today. This could be a cagey affair, and we can see it ending in a low scoring draw.

Photos: Getty

Stats: Opta