Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
It’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer versus Frank Lampard at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, with Manchester United facing Chelsea in their opening Premier League fixture of 2019/20. United will feel confident, given their record on opening days. The Red Devils have won more opening Premier League fixtures than any other team, having recorded 18 victories in their first fixture of the season. They have also lost only one of their last 26 home opening-day games, against Swansea City in 2014.
Paul Pogba should feature for United, having recovered from a back problem. Alexis Sanchez is out, though, having picked up an injury while on international duty with Chile. N’Golo Kante remains a doubt for Chelsea, but his fitness will be assessed on Sunday morning. Willian is also doubtful for the game.
Manchester United vs Chelsea Prediction: United 2-1 Chelsea
Our prediction is that home advantage will give United the edge in this game, and they will win a close game 2-1. Solskjaer proved that he could handle the pressure of the big Premier League occasion last season, while Lampard’s managerial experience is limited to the Championship with Derby County. That might mean Lampard takes a little while to get used to things at the top level, and his players may need some time to adjust to his way of doing things.
Our recommended tip: United, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Irish bookie Paddy Power. They are offering tempting odds of 10/3 on the game being a United win where both teams score. This bet obviously matches our prediction of a 2-1 home win, while also giving you some flexibility when it comes to the final scoreline. We suspect that United’s home advantage will give them the edge in this fixture, but they might also concede. Odds of 10/3 also offer good value for a game where United have been made the favourites by most bookies.
There have been 54 previous Premier League encounters between these two sides. Out of those games, Manchester United have won 15 times and Chelsea, perhaps surprisingly, have won 18. There have been 21 draws. Chelsea have beaten United six times in the Premier League at Old Trafford, while United have 10 times at home to Chelsea in the competition.
Last season, both Premier League meetings ended in draws. The teams drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge in October 2018. The return fixture, at Old Trafford in April earlier this year, ended in a 1-1 draw.
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Players to watch: Marcus Rashford & Tammy Abraham
After his fine exploits last season, it will be interesting to see how Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford continues to develop in 2019/20. Rashford directly contributed to 16 goals in his 33 Premier League appearances last season. He scored 10 goals and provided six assists for his team-mates. Significantly for Chelsea’s defenders, nine of his 10 goals were scored with his right foot and just one with his left, and he scored no goals from headers.
Tammy Abraham scored from the penalty spot last weekend in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw in a friendly match in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach. It will be interesting to see how the highly rated forward develops in his first full Premier League season with the Blues. He managed to score 25 goals in 37 games for Championship side Aston Villa last season, helping them to gain promotion to the Premier League.