Chelsea is preparing for one of the biggest tests of its young season thus far, here are the stats you need to know ahead of the Man United match.
This Saturday, Chelsea takes on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United. Both teams have suffered some unfortunate results this season and a win for the Red Devils would see them leapfrog Frank Lampard’s Blues. With so little to split them, lets have a look at some key stats that could decide the match:
1. Bruno Penandes
Last weekend, it finally happened: Bruno Fernandes missed a penalty for the first time in red. What’s more staggering is that he missed another this past Tuesday in United’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain. Perhaps unsurprisingly given Man United’s luck with penalties, the spot kick was retaken, and he went on to score. That goal makes it 11 in 12 attempts from the penalty spot for the Portuguese midfielder.
Across 28 games, Fernandes has averaged a penalty attempt every 2.3 games. He has an additional five goals and 11 assists, making him one of the most influential players in the division. The 26-year-old is sure to play a prominent part in the Red Devils’ attack on Saturday and if they win yet another penalty, you can bank on him to score it, despite his recent misfires.
2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 3-1 Frank Lampard
Lampard and Solskjaer have gone head-to-head four times in their managerial careers thus far. The Norwegian has gotten the better of Lampard on three of these occasions. The first of these was a best forgotten 4-0 dismantling on the opening day of the 2019/20 season; the second was a forgettable 2-1 victory in the cup. United then completed the Premier League double with a 2-0 victory at the Bridge.
The redeeming fact here is that in the last outing between the two sides, an FA Cup semifinal in July, it was Lampard’s boys who got the last laugh as a Harry Maguire’s own goal sealed a 3-1 win. Despite the head-to-head record, it is important to remember that this is only Lampard’s third season as a manager. His Man United counterpart has almost a decade more experience and in this battle of club legends, it could go either way.
3. Manchester United’s dirty sheets
If you thought Chelsea’s defence was bad at the moment, then take a minute to feel for Man United. The Red Devils are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season. Across their opening four matches, they have conceded 12 goals, the bulk of these coming courtesy of Tottenham in a 6-1 demolition. For historical context, this is Man United’s worst ever start to a Premier League season defensively. Only two teams have fared worse in the top flight so far, West Bromwich Albion and—shockingly—the defending champion Liverpool, but both have played an extra game.
Lampard will be licking his lips at Solskjaer’s leaky defence; after all, Chelsea have scored the third most goals in the league. Only league leaders Everton and United’s nightmare Spurs have more than the Blues 13. With Timo Werner finally getting off the mark with a brace last weekend, there is no reason to doubt that this should be another high scoring affair.
What is your favorite stat between the two sides? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!