Chelsea vs Manchester United Preview: Mourinho and Conte's growing rivalry continues at Stamford Bridge

The two fierce rivals clash in West London with title credentials at stake.

Chelsea vs Manchester United Preview: Mourinho and Conte's growing rivalry continues at Stamford Bridge
Gary Cahill and Marcus Rashford battle for the ball during last season's meeting. (Source: Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

Fierce rivals Chelsea and Manchester United clash at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon. The meeting between the two sides is fueled by the recent war of words between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, and their growing rivalry. 

Manchester United currently sit in second in the league table, five points off top spot, while Chelsea are in fourth and sit four points behind Sunday's opponents.

Team News

Chelsea: The big injury news for Chelsea is the fitness of N'Golo Kante. It's been clear that Kante's absence has hurt Chelsea in recent weeks, but the French midfielder could be set to return in time for Sunday's game. Victor Moses remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, but should return in the next couple of weeks. 

Sunday looks to be crucial for Antonio Conte's men as a loss could see their title hopes slip away completely, with the two Manchester sides aiming to pull away before the Christmas period. After a hugely disappointing result in Rome in the Champions League, Chelsea need to bounce back with a big performance or face a stern reaction from fans.

Projected XI: Courtois; Cahill, Luiz, Christensen; Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata.

Man United: Jose Mourinho's side will continue without Paul Pogba as he aims to be back from his hamstring injury in the next two weeks. Jesse Lingard faces a late fitness test on Sunday due to a back problem, while Marouane Fellaini remains a couple of weeks away from returning from his knee injury. The big storyline will be Nemanja Matic's return to Stamford Bridge after his departure over the summer.

Man United have struggled with injuries in recent weeks, but continue to produce the results necessary. Mourinho will want to return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday and show his old employers what they are missing.

Projected XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Bailly, Young; Herrera, Matic; Martial, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Lukaku.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background

Last season's meetings were a mixed bunch despite Chelsea running off with the Premier League title. The Blues beat Mourinho's Man United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, while an excellent counter-attacking performance saw Man United win the reverse fixture 2-0.

Nemanja Matic makes his return to Stamford Bridge after being sold last summer. The Serbian midfielder joined his former boss at Old Trafford and the pair will be hoping to make a positive return to their former home.

A win for Chelsea on Sunday will see them climb within a point of Man United in the table, while a win for the visitors could help them gain ground on their rivals Manchester City, who play Arsenal earlier in the day. 

With N'Golo Kante potentially returning to the lineup, this gives Conte a full strength starting eleven at home, meaning a result his crucial to his future and his side's chances this season.