Chelsea vs Manchester United Prediction | Opta Analyst

Both sides failed to beat Premier League relegation candidates last time out, but can either respond? We look ahead to Thursday’s clash at Stamford Bridge with our Chelsea vs Manchester United prediction and preview.

Chelsea vs Manchester United Stats: The Quick Hits

  • The Opta supercomputer backs Chelsea as the narrow favourites, with the home side overcoming Manchester United in 38.7% of pre-match simulations.
  • Chelsea are on their longest Premier League winless run against Man Utd after failing to win any of their last 12 meetings.
  • United have won more games (80) and have a higher win percentage (59.7%) in April than any other side in Premier League history.

Match Preview

Chelsea and Manchester United were once both synonymous with Premier League title contention but the pair have fallen away in recent times, and continue to underwhelm heading into Thursday’s clash at Stamford Bridge.

The Todd Boehly-led Chelsea spending frenzy has resulted in little reward, with head coach Mauricio Pochettino often failing to get a tune out of a costly and chaotically assembled squad. Saturday’s 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Burnley has seen Chelsea slip to 12th in the league table ahead of Matchday 31, though Cole Palmer once again starred with two goals against the 10-man visitors.

Palmer has been involved in 21 Premier League goals this season, scoring 13 and assisting eight. Only Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink (32 in 2000-01) and Diego Costa (23 in 2014-15) have been involved in more in their debut league campaign for Chelsea.

Cole Palmer Premier League goal involvements

Having scored in the reverse meeting this term, former Manchester City winger Palmer will be looking to become the first Chelsea player since Juan Mata in 2012-13 to score both home and away in the Premier League against Man Utd. The last Englishman to do so for the club was Frank Lampard in 2010-11.

Though Pochettino’s attack left much to be desired against Burnley, with Raheem Sterling missing a glorious headed opportunity, Chelsea have both scored and conceded in 19 different top-flight games this season – last doing so more often in 2019-20 (22).

Nicolas Jackson will likely lead the line once more in the continued absence of Christopher Nkunku, who remains out through injury. Wesley Fofana, Roméo Lavia, Reece James, Carney Chukwuemeka and Levi Colwill are also absent.

Djordje Petrovic was at fault for Dara O’Shea’s late leveller on MD 30, though the goalkeeper will keep his place as Robert Sánchez’s availability remains unclear, as is the case for Trevoh Chalobah, Lesley Ugochukwu and Malo Gusto, the latter of whom limped off against Burnley. Ben Chilwell could, at least, return to ease the burden on Pochettino’s injury-hit side.

There was late drama aplenty on Man Utd’s last visit to the capital on Saturday as former Chelsea man Mason Mount’s 96th-minute finish – his first goal for the Red Devils – was cancelled out by Kristoffer Ajer’s equaliser three minutes later in a 1-1 draw with Brentford.

A point flattered Erik ten Hag’s side, who were up against it for long periods as Ivan Toney had a goal ruled out for offside and hit the post at the Gtech Community Stadium. That draw and Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at West Ham on Tuesday means United are nine points behind fifth-placed Spurs heading into this one.

With UEFA Champions League hopes rapidly disappearing with every game that passes, United can ill afford to drop more points, otherwise sixth place and UEFA Europa League qualification will be the best they can hope for.

As for the visitors’ team news, Raphaël Varane is a doubt after limping off against Brentford. Victor Lindelöf also came off in that game and faces a month out, while Lisandro Martínez, a substitute at the weekend, has been ruled out until May as well. They join Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Anthony Martial and Altay Bayindir on a growing list of absentees. Squad players Amad Diallo – who had been suspended – and Jonny Evans should return for Thursday’s kick-off, though.

Chelsea vs Manchester United Head-to-Head

Pochettino may not be looking forward to this one, considering Chelsea are winless in 12 Premier League meetings with Man Utd, their longest-ever run without victory against the Red Devils.

Chelsea were 2-1 losers in the reverse meeting at Old Trafford this season as Scott McTominay managed a decisive double, scoring either side of Palmer’s 45th-minute strike against the club he supported as a youngster.

Man Utd v Chelsea stats

United will now be looking to complete the Premier League double over Chelsea for just the second time, previously doing so in the 2019-20 campaign.

Ten Hag’s side will also be aiming to win three consecutive league games against Thursday’s opponents for the first time since September 1965. They’re unbeaten in their last five league visits to Stamford Bridge, though four of these have ended level (W1).

Recent Form

Chelsea are unbeaten in five games in the Premier League (W2 D3). They are also winless in six April Premier League games since beating West Ham in 2022. At home, the Blues have won just one of their last 10 such games (D3 L6), losing five of the last seven at Stamford Bridge.

United have won just one of their last four in the league (D1 L2), but have won more games (80) and boast a greater win percentage (59.7%) in the month of April than any other side in Premier League history. However, they’ve won just one of their last seven away games in the month (D2 L4), beating Nottingham Forest 2-0 last year.

Yet Ten Hag’s men have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games against London sides (D3 L5), losing four of their last six. They’ve lost three of their five such visits this season, last losing more in a single top-flight campaign in 1989-90 (4).

That form against London clubs may be set to extend, considering Chelsea have also won six of their eight evening kick-offs (7pm or later) in the Premier League this season (L2), having failed to win any of their nine evening games in the competition last term (D3 L6).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Chelsea vs Manchester United Predicted Lineups

Chelsea predicted lineup vs Manchester United
Manchester United predicted lineup vs Chelsea

Chelsea vs Manchester United Prediction

The Opta supercomputer struggled to split these two sides, with Chelsea winning 38.7% and Man Utd triumphing in 32.1% of 10,000 pre-match simulations.

A draw would represent more underwhelming returns for the pair, with that result predicted in 29.2% of the same data-led forecasts.

Man Utd are expected to remain sixth in the league table, finishing in that spot most often (54.6%) in the supercomputer’s end-of-season simulations. The projection model backs Chelsea to climb four places up to eighth, as they did so 21.5% of the time in sims.

Chelsea vs Manchester United prediction

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