Manchester United v Chelsea Preview, Odds, Predictions (May 25)

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May 25, 2023
May 25, 2023

Initial Thoughts

Chelsea were outclassed by Manchester City’s second string on the weekend and head to Old Trafford this evening as heavy underdogs.

But as Erik ten Hag’s side aim to confirm their Champions League qualification for next season, the head-to-head-record between the two sides suggests Lampard and Co. may have a surprise in store for the Red Devils.

The Narrative

Frank Lampard averaged just one point per game during his 12 month stint as Everton manager, and that stat has tumbled even further during a career-threatening return to Stamford Bridge.

The fairytale narrative would have seen the former club legend swoop in to guide Chelsea past Real Madrid and on to Champions League glory.

Instead the West London club are now guaranteed to finish trophyless, without European football next season, and on their lowest Premier League points total ever.

A run of four straight defeats in the league was broken when Chelsea beat Bournemouth 3-1 away at the start of the month. That was followed up with a 2-2 draw at home to Nottingham Forest before Chelsea returned to losing ways in a 1-0 defeat away to league Champions City on the weekend.

Returning to Manchester to take on the Red Devils this evening, Lampard and Co. will go up against a United side still yet to confirm their Champions League status next season.

It’s still mathematically possible for Man U to miss out on Europe if they lose both of their last two games of the season. But a point tonight will be enough to book their place in the UCL for the 2023/24 campaign.

After finishing sixth in the table last season, a return to Europe’s elite competition would represent a significant achievement for Erik ten Hag. And should his side win they’re last two games - both of which are at home - United will finish with their best points total in the last five Premier League campaigns. 

Nuts and Bolts

Despite conceding more than a few howlers, David de Gea has already been confirmed as the winner of this season’s Premier League Golden Glove, having kept 16 clean sheets so far this campaign.

United have been exceptional at home this season, losing only once at Old Trafford in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton on the opening day of the season.

Man U have also kept clean sheets in each of their last six home fixtures in the league, but the goals haven't exactly been flying in at the other end.

For all their firepower, Erik ten Hag’s side have scored more than two goals on only a single occasion since early January, and in their last outing against Bournemouth Caserimo’s solitary strike on 9 minutes was the only thing separating the two sides.

Prior to Chelsea’s defeat against City, Lampard’s side had rediscovered their scoring boots, with six goals in their previous three outings.

And at the Etihad, Chelsea had plenty of chances despite that 1-0 loss, with six shots on target and 13 attempts overall.

When these sides last met back in October the honors were shared in a tight 1-1 draw, and the head-to-head record shows the points being shared in each of their last five meetings in the league.

After the pain of playing arguably the best club team in the world right now, Chelsea may well be relieved to face Manchester United tonight. And with nothing but pride resting on this match for Lampard’s men, we may see the west London club produce an above-expectations performance tonight.

Homestand Picks

All odds courtesy of Northstar Bets

Chelsea or tie (+130)

Games between these sides are usually tight and cagey affairs. United need only a point to obtain their objective for the season, and Chelsea will be looking to make a statement here with a positive performance at Old Trafford.

Chelsea over 4.5 shots on target (+185)

Chelsea have had at least four shots on target in each of their last five fixtures, and that’s improved to six shots on both of their last two outings.