There is no loyalty among sexagenarian Dutch managers. Guus Hiddink knows that guiding Chelsea to victory at Old Trafford might cost compatriot Louis van Gaal the Manchester United job, but all that matters to him is the gift-wrapped opportunity to transform the champions’ campaign.
The Blues haven’t won an away Premier League match since August, yet they are unbeaten in four visits to the Theatre of Dreams and face opponents even more vulnerable than they themselves have been for much of the season following four successive defeats and seven games without a win.
It is no surprise then that Hiddink spoke about showing “ambition” in the first road trip of his second stint in charge of the west Londoners, who have already held Tottenham and conquered Arsenal amidst the chaos of their 2015/16 and are appealing 19/10 outsiders for the three points.
One hindrance is the unavailability of Diego Costa, who returned to form with a Boxing Day brace against Watford, only to undermine his efforts by needlessly getting suspended, but this simply serves to present Loic Remy with a chance that he is well overdue.
The Frenchman has scored on three of the last four occasions that he was given at least 25 minutes to strut his stuff, yet has been afforded just one Premier League start in 2015/16 and none in any competition since September.
If Hiddink demonstrates the trust in the 28-year-old that is warranted, he is a great first goalscorer bet at 13/2. Man Utd have conceded first in three straight fixtures and 15 of their 16 domestic leaks this term were at the expense of either strikers or attacking midfielders.
The Red Devils trailed within two minutes at Bournemouth and 19 against Stoke, and if the deadlock is broken within 25 minutes again, winning first goalscorer bets will have their odds doubled. This is one of several special offers presented by Ladbrokes for this showdown:
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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