Manchester United vs Chelsea Preview: Both teams to hit the net
Manchester United take on Chelsea on Super Sunday, with just three points between the sides as they bid for a top-four finish. Infogol’s Analyst uses expected goals data to preview the big game and generate the best bets.
Manchester United Expected Goals (xG)
Manchester United have come under increased scrutiny this week after their below-par performance against Sevilla in the Champions League. A 0-0 draw isn’t a bad result on paper, but it was the way they approached the game, with a defensive mind-set, and in the end they relied on David de Gea once again to keep their clean sheet (xG: SEV 2.0 – 0.5 MUN).
They have been heavily reliant on the Spaniard all season long, and while you may think they have the best defence in the league seen as they have conceded the fewest goals (19), this is actually untrue.
Jose Mourinho’s side have the sixth-best defence in the league according to expected goals and should have conceded closer to 36 goals this season (35.7 xG) – almost double what they actually have.
United remain a big threat in attack, though, having generated 48.0 xG this season, averaging 1.8 xG per game, and despite the criticism, Romelu Lukaku is their most effective forward player. Lukaku has the fourth highest xG in the league (12.3), at 0.5 xG per 90, so does get at least one ‘big’ chance per game, which could be decisive in what is expected to be a close encounter on Sunday.
Chelsea Expected Goals (xG)
Chelsea had what turned into a disappointing 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Champions League, in which the goal they conceded was via a defensive error.
A run of two wins in six matches has seen Chelsea drop to fourth, where they are expected to be based on performances, which leaves them looking over their shoulder in the race for the top four – and provides added importance to this match.
The Blues have over-performed once again this season according to expected goals, though nowhere near the unsustainable numbers of last season, so it is no surprise to see them having a period of regression.
They have been less potent in attack than their opponents in this match (43.5 xG), but have been much more solid in defence (26.0 xG), and it would be no surprise to see them come away with something from Old Trafford.
Both teams are expected to hit the net in this crucial match in the race for a top-four finish. Focal figure Lukaku is yet to score against any of the top six, but can get that monkey off his back in this match – he’s worth backing at 9/2 to get the ball rolling.
Both teams to score @ 5/6
Lukaku to score first @ 9/2