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CHELSEA v Manchester United: Preview

Date: Monday 17th February 2020

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

After what’s felt a slightly odd break in games, the return for everyone else over the weekend has seen our gap cut to just one point, so it’ll be a test of character tonight as much as anything else.

Tonight’s game sees us take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge – a side we’ve lost to twice already this season. They brought in Odion Ighalo in January, who may or may not feature, and along with the odd raised eyebrow at his signing, there’s plenty of noise from the visitors at their current injury list.

We didn’t strengthen in the January window of course, and we’re still missing players like Loftus-Cheek and Pulisic, with Tammy also doubtful, so without any new additions we’re light on attacking options.  United’s attack seems to have been bolstered somewhat with nine penalties so far this season, and whilst our defence might have improved a little, it’s still prone to the odd wobble in a game, so we could definitely play ourselves into trouble.

On a positive note, we do still have a point between us and fifth spot whatever the outcome of tonight’s game and it’s only Spurs up next – so no pressure!

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, says “It’s a game that we want to win. You can control the attitude and desire. They are a good team, have added some players in January. I do expect a tough game on Monday and it’s a direct rival. With football that gaps can chop and change. We are aware of the points, United and Spurs are big games.”

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer meanwhile, says A win gives us a three point gap, and that’s what we’ve got to aim for.  We’ve played them twice this season and done well.  Chelsea are a good team at home but we’re going to try and win the game, we’ve got to to give us more belief and more hope, we need to kick on.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, van Ginkel (ACL) remains out, whilst Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) and Christian Pulisic (abductor) are not yet ready for a return. Tammy Abraham (ankle) has missed a bit of training and faces a late test.

For Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are all still sidelined with injury. Nemanja Matic is available after suspension and new signing Odion Ighalo is in the squad and could feature.

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Caballero; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante; Jorginho; Kovacic; Willian, Mount; Batshuayi.

MANCHESTER UNITED (Possible line-up): De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams; Fernandes; Martial, James

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United (20th October 2018)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: WDWLDD

MANCHESTER UNITED: WLWLLD

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea have lost just one of their past 17 Premier League home games against Manchester United.
  • Manchester United won 4-0 in the reverse fixture in August
  • United have already won at Stamford Bridge this season (2-1 victory in the EFL Cup).
  • Chelsea have won just one of their past five league matches.
  • Chelsea have won more Premier League points in away matches than at Stamford Bridge during the current campaign.
  • Only 16 of Chelsea’s 43 Premier League goals this campaign have been scored at home.
  • Manchester United have lost three of their last five top-flight games.
  • Manchester United have lost three of their last four away games in the top flight.
  • Manchester United have kept just one clean sheet in their 12 away games in the top flight this season.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Manchester United

Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United

Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United

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