Weblog: The football punter
Blues could be frustrated by United at the Bridge
Sky Sports Premier League, 8pm Monday
Chelsea have wasted lots of opportunities to open up a big lead over their top-four rivals and another could pass them by against Manchester United.
The Blues are odds-on for victory but may have to share the points with United, who have picked up two wins and a draw on their last three visits to Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard has tried to take the pressure off his young side by insisting they should not be seen as favourites for Champions League qualification.
But it was only natural for expectations to rise after the Blues started the season strongly, taking 26 points from their first 12 games.
It has been a different story since the November international break, with Chelsea amassing just 15 points in 13 matches.
During that time they have had some poor results on home soil, losing to West Ham (0-1), Bournemouth (0-1) and Southampton (0-2).
Sub-standard defending has been an ongoing theme for the Blues, who have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven league games. And they have become less threatening in attack because top scorer Tammy Abraham has gone through a lean spell, scoring twice in his last ten league appearances.
United may look at Chelsea’s recent results and feel they have a decent chance of victory.
They have done well against the big clubs this term and opened the
2019-20 season with a 4-0 win over Chelsea. But their prospects are constrained by the absence of Marcus Rashford, who has scored 14 of their 36 league goals.
United’s lack of firepower was evident in their recent goalless stalemate with Wolves and they may have to settle for another draw.