Chelsea vs Man Utd: Paul Merson’s prediction hands Pochettino chance to salvage season

Chelsea vs Man Utd: Paul Merson’s prediction hands Pochettino chance to salvage season

Paul Merson and Chris Sutton have predicted that Manchester United’s good fortune will run out when they face Chelsea. The Blues haven’t beaten the Red Devils in the league since 2017 after Alvaro Morata’s goal for Antonio Conte’s side

United are heading to Stamford Bridge with the aim of bouncing back from their draw against Brentford. Erik ten Hag’s team entered the March international break on a high note after their thrilling FA Cup victory over Liverpool.

However, their spirits were dampened when they drew with the Bees, despite Mason Mount scoring a late goal. They’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, with Andre Onana’s goal being targeted 20 or more times in six of their last seven games.

They’re currently nine points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who are fifth, in the race for European football. United are looking forward to an FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, but catching up to Aston Villa in the final Champions League spot will be a tough challenge. But both Merson and Sutton agree that United’s seven-year Premier League streak will end on Thursday.

He told BBC Sport: “Some Manchester United fans have got a bit angry with me when I’ve predicted them to lose in the past, but what happened against Brentford on Saturday summed them up.

“United were on a high after beating Liverpool in the FA Cup before the international break, showing great resilience to come back and win in the manner they did.

“I was thinking ‘here we go’ and wondering if this was another turning point with the possibility of them kicking on… and then they go and put in such an insipid performance against the Bees.

“They were so flat but, when Mason Mount scored in stoppage time, it looked like they had got away with it. This time, Brentford deservedly levelled but United have been doing this all season. They’ve been lucky, right from the start.

“As far as this game goes, well it’s anyone’s guess. I keep on being wrong about Chelsea, including their 2-2 draw against Burnley on Saturday.

“Cole Palmer continues to be a bright spark for the Blues but something is not right with the rest of the team. If they cannot beat Burnley at home when the Clarets are down to 10 men, then heaven help them.

“All things considered, it makes this game impossible to predict. It feels like it will probably be a draw but Palmer will score so I am going to go with him to get the decider.”

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United.

Paul Merson – Sports Keeda

“Manchester United are a million miles away from the likes of Liverpool at the moment,” said the Arsenal icon to Sports Keeda. “Liverpool have kids playing at times, and United are still so far behind them. Their performance against Brentford was very worrying, and they’re going to have to make a decision at the end of the season. Are they going to give Ten Hag another go? I’m not sure.”

“It’s very difficult to predict this game. It’s not even a big game is it? This used to be a mouthwatering fixture. Now, one of these teams got ripped to shreds by Brentford, and the other wasn’t able to dominate a ten-man Burnley side.”

“This is a manager’s game, if I’m being honest. Neither team would want to lose this football match. If Ten Hag loses this game and suffers another defeat against Liverpool next week, he’ll be under massive pressure.”

“Chelsea have home advantage, but they’re not really dominant. It’ll be a big worry if they don’t beat Man United because Chelsea fans will remember what Brentford did to United. This won’t be an easy encounter but Chelsea should be able to win this game.”

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United.

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