AFTER a shocking Sunday I'm hoping for a happy Monday and have picked out two selections from this evening's all EPL FA Cup tie that certainly have an element of risk but also offer ample reward given the nature of the game.
Chelsea v Man United (7.30pm)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has led a charmed life as United's gaffer but after a cracking spell it not only looks like the honeymoon period is over – it looks like the missus has ran off with the Spanish bartender on the second night!
Okay, so I'm exaggerating quite a bit but after PSG schooled the Red Devils at Old Trafford they have been hit by further blows via injuries to Lingard and Martial. Both players who have been hugely influential in recent games.
Goals could be hard to come by
I think we can safely say (famous last words) this has the genetic make-up of a relatively low-scoring game and the following stats by Opta illustrate the context well:
- 11 of the last 15 games had under 2.5 goals.
- 10 of the last 15 matches failed to have both teams on the scorecard.
- Five of the last seven ties at the Stamford Bridge had fewer than three goals.
- Four of the last five fixtures at this venue had just one team finding the back of the net.
- Three of the last four meetings at this stadium had just a single goal each.
Game could go the distance
There are absolutely no guarantees in this betting lark but there are a few rules that sometimes pay off more than their just being coincidental. One of those is a rule I'm going to apply today – if a game can go to extra time it will go to extra time!
Conditions (and history) are ripe for a tight game and with both managers keen to not let this one slip I can't see either making any rash tactical plays – taking on a draw is always a gamble and a bastard to follow for the punter but it's what both my head and heart are opting for.