Manchester United vs Chelsea Preview August 26th

Jose Mourinho ChelseaThe English Premier League is into its second round and we’ve already seen some good action, newcomers Cardiff beating Man City among others. We’ve seen strong perfomances by Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United. Now two of them will face each other in the biggest game so far this season.

The final game of the round is also the biggest, at least on paper, as Manchester United plays their first home game of the campaign on Monday August 26 at Old Trafford. Their opponents are none other than Chelsea and returning manager Jose Mourinho (picture).

United kicked off their season on the road last weekend with an impressive 4-1 away win at Swansea. Dutch international striker Robin van Persie scored a pair of goals with English international striker Danny Welbeck scoring the other two. Chelsea has played twice already and has racked up six points. They beat newly-promoted Hull City in their season opener at Stamford Bridge and then edged Aston Villa 2-1 at the same ground four days later.

With Manchester City beating beaten 3-2 in Wales by Cardiff on Sunday, United and Chelsea each has the chance to pull three more points ahead of them. Of course they can’t both win, and the best result for Man City is probably a draw between these two and that’s certainly a good possibility. This is a new era for Man United with David Moyes now in charge in replace of the departed Sir Alex Ferguson and it’s their first big test.

Rooney in the Headlines

If you believe everything you read in the press you’ll know there’s also a secondary story to this match as it’s believed that Chelsea is after United’s unsettled striker Wayne Rooney, who apparently wants to leave Old Trafford. Mourinho has reportedly put in a couple of bids for the English striker and they’ve both been turned down. There’s a good chance Rooney will start this match and if he does it means one of last week’s starters will have to sit, possibly Welbeck.

One thing’s for sure though and that’s the fact that Moyes will be without the services of defender Rafael, who is out of action with an injured hamstring and will likely miss the next month. United will also likely have to play without forwards Javier Hernandez, Ashley Young, and Nani, who are all out with injuries.

For Chelsea and Mourinho, Brazilian international defender David Luiz could miss his third game in a row due to a hamstring injury. Also defender Tomas Kalas has a fractured leg and will miss the match. But other than that, the Chelsea squad looks to be relatively healthy.

These two clubs have faced each other a total of 161 times throughout the years with Man United winning 68, Chelsea winning 45 and the other 48 ending in draws. United has also outscored the London side 265 to 198 overall. At home, United has 32 victories, Chelsea has 20 and there have been 24 draws with United scoring 118 goals and Chelsea netting 76.

Predictions for Man Utd v Chelsea

This has the potential to be a terrific match, but it could also end up being a dud, as many games between the top teams seem to turn out. Either way, it should be a close one and it’s really a tossup. In terms of betting, it’s the kind of game you’ll bet on for fun when watching it, but I wouldn’t recommend putting a lot on stake here. The team that can take advantage of its chances will likely win this one and that could very well be Chelsea.

Sportsbook William Hill has the current odds of a Man United victory at 6/4 with a Chelsea win at 2/1 and a draw also at 2/1.

August 26, 2013 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply.