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Manchester United Chelsea Betting – Blues Edge Banged-Up United Squad

Posted by Todd Shale on 3/30/2011 12:43:52 PM
man united chelsea betting

Online betting players are used to seeing English teams go after each other in Europe as the Premier League sides have done well for themselves in recent years. There will only be one left after a quarterfinal clash between Chelsea and Manchester United, and thanks to injuries in Manchester, look for the Blues to avenge a heartbreaking loss in the 2008 final.

  • What: Soccer Betting
  • When: Wednesday, April 6th, 2:45 PM ET (at Chelsea); Tuesday, April 12th, 2:45 PM ET (at Manchester United)
  • Where: Stamford Bridge, London (Chelsea); Old Trafford, Manchester (Manchester United)
  • Pick: Chelsea -130

What’s On The Line

A spot in the semifinals and bragging rights between domestic rivals, but revenge may be the biggest factor. United kept Chelsea away from their first Champions League crown in 2008, while going on to win their third European trophy.

Offensive Matchups: Man United Chelsea Betting

The United offense has been rolling along despite the struggles of Wayne Rooney, who is workin hard, but things just haven’t gone his way since the World Cup, on and off the pitch. Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez have been banging in goals, but Berbatov is reportedly looking to leave as Hernandez is getting more and more time. The real star of the show is Nani, who looks eerily like another Portuguese player who used to roam the flanks at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo. Nani is fast and full of tricks, and he also shoots better than Ronaldo did at this stage in his development. Another key to the United attack is the return of Antonio Valencia, who came back three matches ago after missing seven months with a terrible ankle injury. Along with Nani, Valencia adds a presence on the wings, and they have the strikers to put them away, even if Rooney continues to misfire.

Chelsea have had their own worries with Didier Drogba, who has struggled through injury, and that has left Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and Solomon Kalou to pick up the slack. Frank Lampard is coming along after his own injury worries, and he scored for England in a Euro qualifier against Wales last weekend, albeit from the penalty spot. The real star as of late has been David Luiz, who has scored two goals in five games since moving from Benfica, and that is two more goals than Fernando Torres has scored in two more games. Did we mention that Luiz is a defender? The Brazilian has been a whirling dervish alongside John Terry, who allows Luiz to get forward, and he’s been more dangerous than Torres, who cost far too much money to look as nonchalant as he does.

Betting Edge: Man United

Defensive Matchups: Man United Chelsea Betting

United has a sudden injury crisis at the back, which isn’t a good sign for their soccer betting odds. Rio Ferdinand hasn’t played since the first of February because of a calf injury, while John O’Shea and Rafael have hamstring problems. Nemanja Vidic, who is earning consideration as the best player in the Premier League, has a calf problem and could miss this weekend’s trip to West Ham, although he should be ready to go for Chelsea. That leaves Patrice Evra, who hasn’t been at his best this season. Chris Smalling is gaining experience, but he struggled in a Premier League loss against Chelsea on March 1st, and no one is sure about Jonny Evans or Wes Brown. Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick shield the back four, but Owen Hargreaves would be a much better option, and once again, he’s hurt. This puts a ton of pressure on Vidic and keeper Edwin van der Sar to keep United from allowing goals.

Captain John Terry has been up and down this season, and you could argue that Branislav Ivanovic has been Chelsea’s best defender during the campaign, but Terry’s experience and leadership will be crucial in this tie. He also has played better since Luiz has come into the team, and he’s content to sit back and marshal the defense while Luiz bombs forward. You could also say that being restored as England captain will be a boost for Terry, who wore the armband against Wales. Ashley Cole is Mr. Dependable on the left side while Ivanovic roams the right, although he can move inside. Michael Essien allows Lampard to get forward, but like Terry, he hasn’t had his best season. Jon Mikel Obi is also an option, but has been in and out of the team.

Betting Edge: Chelsea

Notable Injuries: Man United Chelsea Betting

There is no timetable for a return from Ferdinand (calf), while Rafael (hamstring) could be back for the first leg, and definitely the second leg. Hargreaves (shoulder) has a new injury, but that’s nothing new. O’Shea (hamstring) will probably miss both legs of this tie, so Vidic (calf) has to be ready for the Blues.

Chelsea is completely healthy after a rough year when it comes to health, and barring any major problems, should be fine for this tie.

Betting Edge: Chelsea

Outlook And Pick: Man United Chelsea Betting

Soccer betting odds must be taking into account that these two English powers are very familiar with each other as Chelsea is favored at -130, while United comes in at +100, both on domestic and European soil. The two have met 158 times in England, with United claiming 67 wins, while Chelsea has 44 victories (47 meetings have ended in a draw). The Blues won the first meeting with a 2-1 victory at home, and they still have to go to Old Trafford on May 8th. In Europe, the pair have met once, in the 2008 Champions League final, which United won on penalty kicks in an enthralling match, and there should be more fireworks this season. We’re going with Chelsea to avenge that loss as United just has too many injuries at the back to deal with the likes of Drogba, Anelka, Lampard, Luiz and yes, even Torres. United will attack Chelsea and it should be a relatively open affair, but unless Nani dominates this tie, the Blues will head to the semifinals. Bet on Chelsea in your sports betting book.

Pick: Chelsea

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