Manchester United vs Chelsea Preview: Blues head to Old Trafford to meet former boss

Manchester United vs Chelsea Preview: Blues head to Old Trafford to meet former boss

Antonio Conte will be keen for his team to do the talking on the pitch when his side faces the Red Devils on Sunday.

alexander-ford
Alexander Ford

Chelsea will travel to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon where they will come up against former boss Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, as they look to keep battling for a place in the top four of the Premier League.

Antonio Conte’s side have been on a run of mixed form recently, and the Italian manager will be hoping his side can pick up from where they left off in midweek.

The Blues managed to get a draw against Barcelona, however, many had felt that the result could have been more positive for the Stamford Bridge outfit if it was not for the error made by Andreas Christensen.

Manchester United are coming off a poor performance in the Champions League themselves after they were held 0-0 by Spanish side Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium and a shock defeat to Newcastle United in their last Premier League outing.

Team news

The Blues will be without David Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ross Barkley for the trip to Old Trafford, with all three remaining unavailable through injuries.

Conte has also revealed that he has no new injury concerns and it is believed Christensen will keep his place in the back three, despite his crucial mistake against the Catalan giants on Tuesday night.

The Italian will have a difficult decision to make regarding his forwards, after he elected to choose Willian, Pedro and Eden Hazard to lead the line against Barcelona, with Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud sitting on the bench.

Who does Conte drop?

It would be extremely difficult to drop one of the three from midweek, however, the Blues may want to bring a recognised striker into the fold, as well as to help with an aerial presence and be a target man.

The Brazilian will be keen to keep his impressive form going after he hit the post twice before scoring against Barcelona, whilst he also netted twice against Hull City in the FA Cup.

Predicted Starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Giroud, Hazard.

No Herrera

Manchester United will be without Ander Herrera for the foreseeable future after the Spaniard aggravated a muscular injury during their tie with Sevilla.

His unavailability could lead to a recall for Paul Pogba to the starting line-up after he had been left on the bench following an illness.

Marouane Fellaini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones all remain unavailable for the Red Devils, however, they could be set to welcome Eric Bailly back to the team.

The defender has been out of the side since November with an ankle injury, however, Mourinho could be ready to put him back in against the Premier League champions.

Predicted Starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Bailly, Young; Pogba, Matic; Martial, Lingard, Alexis; Lukaku

Background

These two sides have met 51 times since the start of the Premier League and Chelsea have edged out their counterparts with 18 wins compared to 14, however, there have been 19 draws between the two sides.

United have only managed to win just one of their last 14 matches against the Blues in all competitions when they won this same fixture in last year’s competition.

Since Mourinho became manager at the Theatre of Dreams, he has only beaten Chelsea once, a 2-0 win last season, whilst also suffering two 1-0 defeats and a 4-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge in 2016.

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