Chelsea welcome rivals Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening for a compelling Premier League clash.
The Londoners are in excellent form under new manager Thomas Tuchel and are beginning to look like solid top 4 contenders, if not more.
New defensive resilience at the back has seen them concede just two goals in their last 8 games and that could also be attributed to a shift in formation, to a back three. Their last Premier League encounter ended in a 1-1 draw away at Southampton last weekend, a game in which Chelsea could and should have won but results elsewhere meant they’re not far off at all. Chelsea were in control of that game for large spells and should have won, with better finishing.
Despite that result the Blues come into this game in vibrant form especially after an impressive 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid in the champions league in midweek. Once again the blues gave nothing away in defence and that solidity will be a key component as they look to secure silverware come end of the season. Tuchel must realize that this will be an entirely different fixture and will have to approach it quite differently with the defence likely to be tested by the speed and direct attacking of Manchester United. Chelsea boss will however hope for a positive result to propel them into the top four as the season gets to its decisive moments.
Manchester United come into this game on the back of some pretty mixed results but still in good form. Back to back wins both in the league and in Europe but followed by a scoreless draw against Real Sociedad in the second leg of the Europa league round of sixteen clash, one in which United were already 4-0 up from the first leg and could afford to take a night off. They can however not afford that against Chelsea as they look to be flying under new manager Thomas Tuchel. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will have to play to their utmost best to breach a Chelsea defense that’s only conceded 2 goals since the German tactician took over.
The Red Devils will be confident in their abilities as recent games against Chelsea gives them the edge and with one of the league’s best performers Bruno Fernandes in such fine form, it’s impossible to bet against United. Sitting 10 points behind leaders Manchester City in what looks like an insurmountable lead, Manager Solskjaer has been eager to point out that his men will fight to the end, while the noisy neighbors do not look like dropping points, anything is possible in football and if that happens, the Red Devils must be ready to take advantage of any slip ups. Three pints against Chelsea in this clash will be vital for united as they seek to keep the pressure on Manchester city and create some separation between them and the chasing pack in those top 4 places.
Chelsea – Chelsea will again be without the services of experienced centre-back Thiago Silva for this weekend’s contest, with the Brazilian remaining on the sidelines due to a muscular problem. The Blues are otherwise in excellent shape in terms of injuries, and there are not expected to be too many surprises in the home side’s XI on Sunday afternoon
Possible Chelsea XI – Mendy; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Giroud, Werner
Manchester United – As for Man United, Phil Jones, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba are all absent, but Solskjaer said on Thursday night that he hoped that Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay would all be available following recent issues. There will be changes from the side that started against Real Sociedad, with David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford set to return to the starting eleven.
Possible Man Utd XI – De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood; Cavani
- In all competitions, United have won our last three away games against Chelsea, with those victories coming in as recent as 2019, 2020.
- Manchester United have never four consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge.
- Tuchel is the first Chelsea to avoid defeat in his first sox opening games since Sarri on 2018.
- Manchester United are the second highest goal scorers in the league this season with fifty goals.
- The Reds have not lost a match away from Old Trafford in nineteen games.
For various reasons, this is a very tough game to forecast. Both teams will be vying for all three points as they struggle to finish in the top four, but it’s difficult to tell them apart. If given the chance before kickoff, both managers will definitely concede a point, and we can see the two teams drawing 1-1 on Sunday afternoon.