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Manchester United vs Chelsea: Goals to flow in tight Old Trafford opener

Manchester United vs Chelsea Match Preview and Predictions

This match would have been viewed as a title indicator during an eight-year spell from around 2005, but for various reasons Manchester United and Chelsea are both a massive 33/1 in the Premier League winner odds for this season.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

The build-up to the game has been dominated by both United's £80million capture of England centre-back Harry Maguire from Leicester and the futures of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, who joined Inter Milan on transfer deadline day.

Chelsea finished third last season and won the Europa League under Maurizio Sarri, but Blues legend Frank Lampard is now in charge although his squad is weaker following Eden Hazard's move to Real Madrid.

Match information

When is it? Sunday 11th August

What time is kick-off? 16:30

Where is it being played? Old Trafford

Which channel is it on? Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League

Who is the referee? Anthony Taylor

Manchester United vs Chelsea Betting Tips

Here are our best tips for Sunday's match for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Despite Lukaku's £74million move to the Serie A club, pre-season has been successful for the Red Devils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men were unbeaten from their six matches which included wins against Tottenham, Inter Milan, Leeds and a penalty shoot-out victory over AC Milan.

Chelsea beat a reasonably strong Barcelona team missing Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in Japan and Christian Pulisic showed signs of his talent with a double in a 5-3 victory over Red Bull Salzburg. They wrapped up pre-season by coming back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Borussia Monchengladbach thanks to second-half penalties from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley.

We correctly called this fixture as a draw at 12/5 last season and suspect that will be the outcome again at Premier League odds of 23/10.

These two sides shared the points in both matches last season and neither team have taken giant strides since then.

United have strengthened their defence with the addition of Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace, while Chelsea remain under a transfer embargo and will only be able to sign new players next summer.

The weekend's featured matches

If you're interested in tips on our feature matches for the weekend, check out our in-depth previews below:

First goalscorer tips

Tammy Abraham is 11/2 in the first goalscorer odds after starting the last couple of matches and scoring against both Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach in pre-season, but our eyes were turned by the 17/2 on offer for USA international Pulisic to break the deadlock.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger has looked sharp during pre-season and is likely to start at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Anytime goalscorer tips

Ross Barkley seems to be Chelsea's designated penalty taker these days, converting from the spot against both Gladbach and Salzburg.

The midfielder also scored from open play against both Barcelona and Reading, meaning he has scored in his last four matches, and earned Chelsea a point with a last-minute equaliser against United at Stamford Bridge last season, so 7/2 in the anytime goalscorer odds seems good value.

This weekend's best bets

If you're interested in football accumulators, check out our regular betting columns:

Where the game will be won or lost

Many United fans remain disgruntled with transfer activity during the summer which saw the club pull out of a move for Juventus striker Paulo Dybala because they were not convinced the Argentinean was committed to the cause.

The Red Devils had also been linked with a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen but it now appears the Dane favours a move to Spain's La Liga, whose transfer window closes on September 2.

The upshot of Ed Woodward's transfer business is that United have brought in two defenders, no midfielders or attackers, aside from Swansea winger Daniel James.

United have shown plenty of energy in pre-season and the goals have been flowing from Chelsea's boots, yet under 2.5 goals is 4/5 for Sunday's featured game.

Lukaku may have been sold, but we suspect goals could be on the cards, especially in the opening 45 minutes.

Four of the last five meetings between these two sides in all competitions have produced more goals in the first half and that could be the case again at 11/5 as the next of our Manchester United vs Chelsea betting tips.

We wrap up our Manchester United vs Chelsea predictions by suggesting odds of 14/1 on a 2-2 draw in what should be an entertaining match.

That was the scoreline at Stamford Bridge last season while United drew 2-2 with Burnley and Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Chelsea kept the third highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League last season (16) but the goals have been flying in at both ends in pre-season and we expect that trend to continue.

For those looking at higher odds, both teams to score in both halves is one of the BetStars RequestABet offers and has been increased from 9/1 to 16/1.

Team news

Paul Pogba is fit to start Manchester United's opener havjng missed the final pre-season game against AC Milan with a back spasm.

Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James could make their debuts, while 17-year-old Mason Greenwood is set to be named in the squad. Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah are both injured, while Alexis Sanchez may not be involved after picking up a hamstring issue towards the end of the Copa America.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will make a late decision on N'Golo Kante before the game at Old Trafford.

France midfielder Kante hopes to return following a knee injury, while forward Willian and defender Antonio Rudiger (both knee) also face fitness tests but are unlikely to feature.

United States winger Christian Pulisic could make his Blues debut following his £58million move from Borussia Dortmund, but England duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi (both Achilles) will be unavailable.

80+ Minute Goal Insurance - Free Bet up to £/$/€20 if a goal scored after 80 minutes turns a winning bet into a loser. Applies to Premier League, Champions League & Europa League Match Result bets only. Min odds: 1/2 (1.50). Terms apply.

Warren Barner
@warren_barner in Football