Chelsea take on Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday in a 4:30pm kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
Having undoubtedly improved under Thomas Tuchel, the Blues would move above West Ham into fourth with a victory ahead of Thursday’s enticing encounter against Liverpool.
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United, meanwhile, will have half an eye on how Leicester fare against Arsenal earlier in the day, with the two sides currently locked in horns for second spot.
Chelsea are 23/20 favourites to win, with the draw and a Man Utd win both 12/5.
In terms of a Bet Builder, I’m trusting Stuart Attwell to deliver cards as he so often does.
The 38-year-old is averaging 4.28 cards per game in his 14 PL games this season, showing each side at least one card each and 3+ cards overall in 12 of those matches. 10 saw 4+ cards shown.
I dug back into recent league encounters between these two sides, and found that 1+ card each and 4+ overall has landed in each of the last 10 PL meetings.
This is 4/5 (bet365) to happen once again on Sunday and will be my main play, but if you want more bang for your buck, 2+ cards for each team is 6/4. The latter has landed in six of the last seven H2H’s and in eight of Attwell’s 14 PL games this season:
Over 0 Cards for Chelsea, Over 0 Cards for Man Utd, Over 3 Cards for Both Teams Combined 4/5 @ bet365.
In terms of player cards, there are loads of options, but N’Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger, Fred and Nemanja Matic appeal having all been carded three times in this fixture for their current sides.
If Kante starts, I like the look of him and Fred at 14/1 (Betfair), with Fred booked in three of the last four H2H’s.
Away from cards, I think the draw appeals here, with United sharing the spoils in three of their last six league games away from home while remaining unbeaten in their last 19 PL away games.
Chelsea are yet to lose in eight games in all competitions under Tuchel, meanwhile, and have only lost two of their last 18 PL home games.
Moreover, almost 25% of games between the ‘Big Six’ this season have ended 0-0, with United doing so on four occasions and Chelsea twice, including the reverse fixture.
Neither side desperately need the win either, having both played in Europe in midweek with another league game following this one in midweek, so with Chelsea looking very solid off the ball but yet to fully click on it, I wouldn’t be amazed to see another bore draw.
9/1 (various) is a very good price for 0-0 on the Correct Score market, then, in my view. Alternatively, you could back Draw, Under 3 Goals and 2+ cards each at 10/1.
Lastly, Betfair’s boosts of Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes to have 1+ shot on target each and 2+ shots on target each at 3/1 and 40/1 respectively represent real value.
Mount is playing higher up the pitch under Tuchel and has had 2+ shots in four of his five league starts under the German, testing the opposition goalkeeper on three occasions. The England midfielder may now be on penalty duty, too, having scored one against Southampton last week.
Fernandes certainly enjoys scoring penalties himself but we all know he is far more than that. The world-class Portugal man has had two or more shots on target in 11 of his 24 league starts and 1+ in 20 of 24. Machine.