Premier League Picks: Chelsea vs Manchester United
The most storied manager in Chelsea FC's history returns this weekend as the enemy. For the first time ever Jose Mourinho will manage a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge as a visiting manager in Sunday's marquee as he brings Manchester United to West London.
But Sunday won't be the first time the Special One has been the opposition manager against Chelsea. In 2009 he was the manager of an Inter Milan side which knocked Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea out of the Champions League. This weekend he gets to face another big name Italian who has taken over the job that was once his.
Chelsea vs Manchester United odds on BET365
Antonio Conte looks to have figured out how this collection of players is best suited to play. It's what Jose Mourinho figured out at Chelsea and contributed to his eventual downfall; Eden Hazard is a one way player.
Mourinho was too stubborn to change his tactics to accommodate the Belgian. However Conte's preferred system of a 3 man back line can actually allow for Hazard to be a defensive passenger, which is why this might actually work.
Since making the change to a back 3 and keeping Ivanovic on the bench, Chelsea have kept consecutive clean sheets. On Sunday, Conte gets to see how his new system will fly against an elite team such as the Red Devils.
Chelsea vs Manchester United Betting Prediction
Jose Mourinho has a style he implements in big games. For all the pre match hype, they hardly live up to expectations.
BET UNDER 2.5 @ -138 ON BET365. Expect a similar approach to the Liverpool game from Manchester United. The starting line up will tell us what we need to know. If Mou opts for the 3 man midfield of Fellaini, Pogba and Herrera once again, with Ashley Young and Marcus Rashford as wingers who track back then it will be clear that Jose is trying to kill the game.
Chris Smalling and John Terry, two of this fixture's better central defenders are both question marks, so watch for that as well. But all in all expect a very tight game, as United tries to limit the space that Hazard can operate in and cut off the supply line to Diego Costa. With both players in such good goal scoring form, United will not want to mess around.
This is a contrarian play as all 4 of Chelsea's home games in the Premier League have gone Over 2.5 goals. But that actually make me like it more because we can anticipate that stat to correct itself at some point. No squad will play only to one side of a line every game and this looks like the perfect spot for regression to the mean.
Betting Jose Mourinho Managed Teams
As a punter, footy enthusiast and lifelong Chelsea supporter, I have watched hundreds of Jose Mourinho managed games against big teams. As such, he has very predictable tendencies.
In his last title winning season at Chelsea his side was like clockwork. At home they would get a 2-0 lead and coast, and on the road in tough games they got 1-1 draws. In their 2 matches against Manchester City that season, their closest rival for the title, Jose Mourinho did what you saw United do on Monday at Anfield; what some refer to as anti-football, and what others call parking the bus.
Plenty of pundits will give their view on this. But as a gambler, this predictability in a world of uncertainty is priceless. In any financial market one needs to identify trends and behavioural patterns and use this for their monetary gain.
Betting on Jose Mourinho managed teams to "kill the game" has been a very profitable play over the last decade.
For up to the minute soccer lines and live in game bets you can follow me on twitter @zahir_gilani
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