Magic Mourinho to haunt United again

Free-scoring Chelsea made it six victories in a row against NK Maribor on Tuesday
BEN CLEMINSON PREVIEWS MAN UNITED VERSUS CHELSEA AND QPR AGAINST ASTON VILLA

CHELSEA travel to Old Trafford on Sunday with Loic Remy a doubt and top-scorer Diego Costa ruled out. That could pave the way for the ageing Didier Drogba to lead the line for the Premier League leaders and, even though the Ivorian isn’t the force of old, the Blues have enough in their locker to inflict a third league defeat of the season on Manchester United.

The hosts have taken just 12 points from their opening eight games and needed a late goal to grab a draw at the Hawthorns on Monday. A leaky defence has been the Achilles heel for Louis van Gaal as he tries to mould a team that makes the most of his attacking options.

United have won only six of their last 22 league games against Chelsea and, on the evidence of what we have seen this season, they will struggle to live with the pace and power of their rivals.

Jose Mourinho’s visitors have kept clean sheets on their last two visits to United and have conceded just once in their last five matches. The likes of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle and Cesc Fabregas aren’t bad options to have to replace the goals of Costa, and the side must be relishing the chance to extend their six-game winning streak.

Spread bettors can buy their supremacy at a very reasonable 0.25 with Sporting Index and that has to be the call.

Excluding two 1-1 draws in the space of five days against Schalke and Manchester City last month, Chelsea have won every game this term, with a 1-0 away win at Sporting Lisbon the only other time they have failed to score at least twice. Despite Costa missing and Remy going off shortly after opening the scoring on Tuesday night, Chelsea still spanked NK Maribor 6-0.

Even with Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Angel di Maria in their ranks, a 4-0 win over basement boys Queens Park Rangers is one of only two occasions where United have hit more than two goals this season. That was also just the second match all campaign they have not conceded – the other was against the division’s lowest scorers Burnley.

Chelsea are masters at controlling big games like this and taking their opportunities when they come. The 2-0 correct score is available at a big 14/1 and that’s also worth a bet.

■ Pointers…
Buy Chelsea’s supremacy at 0.25 with Sporting Index
Chelsea to win 2-0 at 14/1 (general)