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Friday, 19 September 2008

Chelsea vs Manchester United: Premier League Prediction Panel 2008/9 - preview and predictions

Chelsea are top of the table and looking strong favourites to record a third league title success in five seasons.  Today's opponents were everyones picks to be Chelsea's nearest challengers but are struggling in the bottom half of the table and another Chelsea win will push nine points between the two - and even at this early stage that could be a decisive gap.  Chelsea's form is superior in every way and they will not expect to cede their long unbeaten home run in this game.

United will miss the suspended Nemanja Vidic, with Jonny Evans the favourite to replace him and big signing DImitar Berbatov is also struggling.  Evans has had a couple of successful stints at Sunderland and slotted in alongside Rio Ferdinand very nicely against Villarreal - almost bagging the winner with a diving header.  The big question concerns the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and whether he starts - how Ronaldo, Berbatov, Rooney and Tevez can play together without compromises is a question for another time.  After a sticky start to the season United will be delighted to bag a draw.

Chelsea will start as clear favourites.

Chelsea vs Manchester United; Kick Off 02:00pm 21 Sep 2008

Prediction Panel
Our panel contains both Squarefootball writers and readers, the writers are marked: (sqf).

Tony Bellew : 0 - 1
Dave Blackburn : 1 - 0
Sue Gardener : 3 - 2
Chris Goodwin : 2 - 1
Paul Grech (sqf) : 1 - 2
Colin Illingworth (sqf) : 2 - 1
Hugh Larkin (sqf) : TBC
Peter Lee : 1 - 1
Don McMahon : 3 - 2
Antony Melvin (sqf) : 1 - 1
Stephen Orford (sqf) : TBC
Tony Ratton : 1 - 1
Peter Rendle : TBC
Dan Taylor : 1 - 1
Andy Wakeman : 0 - 1
Isaac Williams : 2 - 1
Mark Williams : 2 - 0

Panel Verdict
The panel has edged towards a Chelsea win, but there are advocates for all three results.

Home: 7; Draw: 4; Away: 3; TBC: 3;

Spread Betting
With Ronaldo just back from injury his goal minutes market price is very low - and this could be the best time to exploit it regardless of the result.

Example: 5pt buy Ronaldo goal minutes at 14
No goals: you lose 70pts
Ronaldo scores after 45 minutes: You win 155pts
Ronaldo scores after 30 and 60 minutes: You win 380pts
Ronaldo scores after 30, 60 and 90 minutes: You win 830pts
and so on

* Do we have it right, or do you know better?  Please don't bother with derisory comments on the predictions after the match - unless you also pulled us up before it!



Hopefully Chelsea will further extend what Liverpool started and what the FA should have done for Ferguson's talking to Berbatov without permission - cost Man Utd points

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