The opening Premier League weekend is always a fun time of the year, and it’s so nice to be treated to a mouth-watering clash to a round-off the action.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how Manchester United and Chelsea get on this season. After a thunderous start, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s end-of-season slump with United has seen him joint-favorite to lose his job first this time around, and if his side start the campaign poorly, he’ll be in huge trouble.
The signings of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were much, much needed—an improvement on the 54 goals conceded last season was Ole’s most pressing matter to attend to this summer—though there are now question marks over whether the side have enough firepower up front, after selling Romelu Lukaku to Inter without bringing in a replacement.
There are just as many unknowns surrounding Chelsea. I personally think this job has come a little early in Frank Lampard’s career, though the club’s transfer ban has forced their hand somewhat, and Lampard will be much more inclined to blood youth—in particular Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori—than many of his predecessors.
I’m not convinced Chelsea can replace Eden Hazard’s goals, but with so many issues to content with, Lampard will be afforded a transition season before the pressure really cranks up.
I’m backing both teams to score.
Both teams have found the net in the last three meetings between these two, and I’m finding it hard to envisage something different on Sunday. It’ll take time for United’s new defenders to have a true impact (don’t expect Maguire to have a Van Dijk-style transformative effect on the side), while Chelsea will have a new-look defence themselves after David Luiz’s exit.
We’ll see two young, exciting teams out here on Sunday, and we could well be treated to a few goals along the way.
2u - Both Teams To Score @ -133
I don’t like picking draws too often, but there’s value in backing a stalemate on Sunday given the previous results between Man Utd and Chelsea.
Four of the last six matches at Old Trafford between the two sides have ended in draws (two being score-draws) and this being the opening game of the season, it’s probably a result that would be well-received by both Solskjaer and Lampard.
It’s always tough punting this early in the football season, but a draw is surely the most likely result considering where the sides are at this moment in time.
1u - Draw (3-way Moneyline) @+240