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Big game specialist Mata to make a point against Man Utd

| 26.08.2013

Even if Chelsea have no plans to sell Juan Mata this summer, it is clear that Jose Mourinho does not view him as integral to the side as he has been in the past two seasons.

The arrival of Willian will create further competition for places in the Blues’ midfield, but Mata has a record to suggest he will make a point to his manager by scoring against Manchester United, and is worth backing at 4/1 to find the net.

The Spaniard scored the only goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford towards the end of last season, and was also on target in the 3-2 home loss. The year before, Mata scored in the 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge.

In fact, the midfielder made a habit of finding the net in important matches for Chelsea last year, scoring six goals against the rest of the Premier League’s top five.

Although he was left out of Chelsea’s win over Hull, Mourinho will have to play his strongest side against Manchester United, and Mata is surely part of that after winning the Blues player of the year last two seasons.

Another player whose future is unclear is Wayne Rooney, and it will be interesting to see if David Moyes starts the England international against his very public suitors.

Mourinho has said he will not bid for Rooney until after the game, and the 27-year-old is 11/5 to score in the 90 minutes against the team he might end up playing for this season.

United are 11/8 to win the match, while Chelsea are priced at 21/10, although the draw might be the value option at 11/5 with both teams desperate not to lose an early title face-off.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Fortune