Date: Sunday 28th April 2022
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Well, we didn’t have a Champions League game this week, so tonight, we fit in our game in hand away to Manchester United.
We come into this game off the back of a very late win against West Ham at the weekend to give us a five-point lead over 4th place Arsenal but with injuries impacting again, it was by no means convincing against the Hammers second string. Even Christensen cried off with a dodgy stomach before kick-off and by half-time we felt worse than he did. Subs to the rescue though, as they often have been for us, and we upped the energy and urgency enough at the end to take three crucial points.
United meanwhile, lost away to Arsenal at the weekend, to make it three defeats from their last four games and leaving them sixth in the table, six points shy of the last Champions League spot. Their home form is a different story though, because they’ve gone seven games unbeaten at Old Trafford. We have been better away from home, although its nine years since we’ve had a win away to Manchester United and their form will be largely irrelevant given our benevolent tendencies this season.
Going into today’s game, Manchester United person in charge, Ralf Rangnick, says “Obviously, if results are not going well and we lost three of the last four games, the morale, energy in the locker room isn’t as good as it would be, still we have to perform, this is what we’re getting paid for, it’s important for the players, knowing the new manager, to show we are able to beat a team like Chelsea, this is our job, this is what everyone has to do and this is what we have been working for. Chelsea is a good team but we know if we play well it’s possible to win the game.”
Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, says “We and Manchester United would love to be in a title decider but unfortunately there are two other teams in red and blue who have a word to say and over the last years made their point strongly. We have to accept it and try to close the gap, Manchester United as well in the last years campaign being second. Man U is one of the biggest clubs, very famous and successful. I can only repeat I am very grateful and excited to play there and arrive with a strong team. We arrive to win and play for the victory. This is a great feeling. I am not concerned about Man Utd. It is not my job and they will always recover. It is a huge club and the squad is full of individual talent. I am not involved, we have enough to do here.
Over the last months there was also a lot of talk about Chelsea (as well as Manchester United)! We were not so heavily involved in the talks about Man United. I am personally very happy to play against them at Old Trafford. For me it is still one of the biggest stages, one of the biggest clubs, one of the biggest stadiums and occasions to play. I arrive with a strong team, this is the best way to arrive as a coach. I am very happy to have this match. No matter in what position and which form they are in. This is how I see it. It’s why we prepare in the best way possible. We don’t reflect much on their situation and what’s going on. We focus on their last matches. We should not get confused by their last performance, last results. We need to take care about it on the pitch.
Against some opponents it is harder to get victories. Manchester United is this kind of opponent for us. With all the respect we have for the history, occasion, and quality of Man U, we try to win and arrive to win. We prepare to win this match and see what questions are asked, what the game demands and how the momentum shifts or not. This is pretty much it. It is not so much now or never because they are struggling with results recently. We prepare all the time to have the feeling now or never. We try to prepare in the best way possible and win the match tomorrow. Chelsea and Man U as a football fan and big Premier League fan, it is a big match and I would always watch it. To be a part of it would be nice!”
For Manchester United, Fred, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani remain out injured, Harry Maguire |(knee) has joined them and Jadon Sancho has tonsillitis. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a doubt.
For Chelsea, Ben Chilwell (knee), remains our long-term absentee, Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) and Mateo Kovacic (ankle) also remain out. Ross Barkley is out ill, whilst Christensen might need a late assessment after some milk of magnesia. Antonio Rudiger and Reece James have both trained, so fingers crossed they’ll play some part today.
MANCHESTER UNITED (Possible line-up): De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Telles; McTominay, Matic; Elanga, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Azpilicueta, James, Kante, Jorginho; Alonso, Mount, Pulisic, Havertz
Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea (24th October 2020)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
MANCHESTER UNITED: WDLWLL
- Chelsea have won just two of their past 12 games against Manchester United in all competitions.
- Chelsea are without a win in eight Premier League meetings.
- Manchester United have lost five of their past eight games in all competitions.
- Chelsea are on a club record run of eight consecutive away wins in all competitions.
- Chelsea have won only one of their last 13 games at Old Trafford in all competitions.
- Manchester United have conceded 51 league goals this season.
- Chelsea have conceded just nine Premier League away goals in 2021-22.
- Manchester United have lost 10 of their 34 Premier League games this season.
- Chelsea have taken 36 points away from home this season.
- Chelsea are the only club to have won more Premier League games against Manchester United than they have lost.
Sportsmole: Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea