Man Utd vs Chelsea – Webb’s influence could play a crucial role

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It doesn’t make for good reading when the referee is dominating the headlines before the match has even started, but the stats are in Manchester United’s favour when Howard Webb is refereeing.

Manchester United have won their last seven home ties at Old Trafford that Webb has officiated and the World Cup final referee has awarded penalties to Manchester United in three of the last four games at Old Trafford – he is 9/2 to award a penalty to Manchester United.

Match Odds

Webb’s appointment has been a controversial one but there is no doubt he is one of the strongest referee’s in the Premier League and Manchester United will have to work hard against a side that they haven’t beaten in three Premier League games.

The Champions League results suggest Manchester United are a huge price at 11/8 to win but Chelsea have won all of their last three Premier League games against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and are 2/1 to win on Sunday.

Old Trafford has become a fortress for Manchester United this season and while there may be a tense atmosphere inside the Theatre of Dreams, Manchester United have won all of their last 15 home games so we’re siding with the Red Devils at 11/8.

Total Goals

Another stat in Manchester United’s favour is that Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in 15 attempts against the league leaders and Carlo Ancelotti’s side will have to score at least twice to win – Chelsea are 9/4 to win or draw with three or more goals scored.

2-1 would seem the obvious result considering the Champions League tie and Ferguson’s side are 8/1 to win 2-1, and you can get 2/1 that a goal is scored in the last ten minutes of the game.

Drogba looks certain to start and Torres is 1/1 to start, but Hernandez’s ability to score crucial goals makes him the best bet to score the last goal at 11/2.

A £10 stake on Manchester United beating Chelsea 2-1 would return £90. Sign up here for a free bet worth up to £30.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.