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Chelsea vs Manchester United Betting Odds – Leaders battle to thrilling draw

Posted by Todd Shale on 4/1/2010 2:33:33 PM
Soccer odds – Draw +200

Online betting players will be treated to a battle of epic proportions on Saturday morning in the Premiership as Chelsea travels to Manchester United in a clash of the top two teams in England. United goes into this match without their star striker, while Chelsea has been on fire, but with the crowd behind them, United will be able to snatch a point to stay atop the table.

Chelsea vs Manchester United Betting Odds: Draw +200
  • What: Soccer betting
  • When: Saturday, April 3, 7:45 AM ET
  • Where: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
  • Key Stat: Chelsea has two losses and two draws in their last four trips to Old Trafford

The Storyline

Man United heads into this match with a one-point lead over Chelsea at the top of the table, and United will be out to avenge a 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge back in November. But the major news heading into this game is the injury of United striker Wayne Rooney, who will miss this crucial fixture (and more) with an ankle injury suffered in their 2-1 loss at Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday. This will be huge ahead of facing a Chelsea side that has scored 12 goals in its last two games, including a 7-1 thrashing of Aston Villa last week.

Offensive Matchups

Frank Lampard has scored five of those 12 goals, and he netted four against Aston Villa, and Chelsea’s sportsbook odds would be even better if Lampard had performed to his high standards all season, although efforts like that should excite England fans. Lampard was so good in that match that Chelsea could afford to rest Didier Drogba, who had a knee injury.

United has long been lauded as a one-man show with Rooney, who scored their lone goal in Germany, and now we’re going to see if the critics were right. Rooney’s power, pace and skill has gotten him 26 goals in the Premiership this year, but now Dimitar Berbatov must step out of his shadow. Outside of Berbatov’s 12 goals, no other United player has more than five.

Betting Edge: Chelsea

Defensive Matchups

It’s not even that United played badly defensively in Germany, although Patrice Evra had one of his worst games of the season. It’s that they sat back and absorbed so many attacks, and it was actually good that they held off Bayern for so long. Having Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic back and healthy is a major boost, but Gary Neville is obviously past his prime and United need a new right-back.

The Blues are missing three of their four first-choice defenders: Ashley Cole, Jose Bosingwa and Ricardo Carvalho. They have been missing the first two for a while now, but now Branislav Ivanovic is also hurt, and defensive midfielder Michael Essien is still out, although Jon Obi Mikel has been playing better. United can attack Chelsea, especially on the flanks.

Betting Edge: Man United

Notable Injuries

Backup keeper Hilario (groin) should be back for this match, and the most recent injury of Carvalho (ankle) is not what Chelsea needed right now.

Rooney (ankle) wasn’t hurt as bad as many thought he was, but after being United’s talisman for most of the season, any injury is bad news.

Betting Edge: Draw

Totals

Seven of the last 10 between these two have gone below the posted total, but Chelsea has been in devastating form. But with their injuries piling up at the back, can they hold United at bay?

Pick: Over 2.5

Betting Prediction

These games are usually cagey, especially the beginning, and you can expect United to be a bit cautious without Rooney, but after their display in Germany, they should have learned that they can’t sit back and absorb shots. Drogba and Lampard will look to penetrate the United defense, but if Chelsea gets too far forward, United have the players to hit on the counter, even without Rooney. This match has draw written all over it.

Todd’s Pick: Draw +200

Get Todd’s sports betting picks each week in the Betting Edge at BetOnline.

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