Chelsea v Man Utd
English Premier League. Kick-Off: 12.30pm, Saturday 20th October. Live on Sky Sports.
CAN Jose Mourinho survive a defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday? The pundits would have you believe that a defeat at his old stomping ground would be a ‘bridge' too far for his current employees and there's little to suggest that they can overcome the 4/1+ odds and beat the Blues.
Defeat for the Red Devils would see them slip 10 points from the top of the table after just nine games, continuing an uncomfortable normality for the United faithful.
Chelsea re unbeaten in this fixture at Stamford Bridge since 2012 and in fact they've only lost twice to United in their last 16 meetings. Under Sarri the Blues have hit the ground running and been surprisingly impressive very quickly. Much of that has been down to the sparkling form of playmaker Eden Hazard who is a clear front-runner for the Player of the Year title.
The Belgian leads the Premier League scoring charts with a goal every 82 minutes (seven in total) and his three assists mark him as the most dangerous player in the league to date. Hazard has scored a third of Chelsea's total goals and he's 21/10 (bet365) to score Chelsea's first goal in the match.
Form and recent fixture history would tell you that a Chelsea win is on the cards and 3/4 looks a fair price. Despite the lift that Man Utd would have got in coming back from two goals down to Newcastle to win 3-2 there's still a fragility about them and that rousing win may have just papered over the cracks.
Mourinho's away record to ‘top six' sides is far from impressive; W2 D3 L5. That, coupled with the home side's impressive recent record in this fixture gives me more confidence in backing Sarri's men.