The two rivals go head to head on Sunday afternoon as both teams look to assert their dominance in the race for a top-four finish
Chelsea take on Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday in what is the game of the weekend in the Premier League.
Both teams have been in decent form of late, with Man Utd unbeaten in their last eight outings in all competitions, while Chelsea have won six and drawn two of Thomas Tuchel’s first eight games in charge.
The Red Devils comfortably saw off Spanish side Real Sociedad in the Europa League last 32 in midweek, running out 4-0 winners on aggregate over the two legs.
Tuchel’s charges, meanwhile, secured a narrow 1-0 first-leg victory over La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid on Tuesday after dominating proceedings in Romania.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men come into this one in second place in the Premier League standings, six points and three places above their upcoming opponents, who are sitting just outside of the Champions League spots.
With Manchester City 10 points clear of Man Utd and running away with the title, securing a place in Europe’s elite cup competition for 2021/22 is the priority for both of these clubs, and three points over the weekend for either side would be a huge step towards that goal.
United are set to select David de Gea in goal, with a back four containing the much-improved Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka likely to line up in front of the Spaniard.
Scott McTominay is still struggling with an injury, so Nemanja Matic and Fred are set to continue their stint alongside each other in the centre of the park. Paul Pogba could return to the first-team squad for this one, but it’s likely to have come too soon for the Frenchman to feature from the off.
A front four of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial could complete the starting XI, with injuries to Edinson Cavani and Dan James allowing Martial more time to rediscover his best form.
Tuchel has started his Chelsea career with a 3-4-2-1 formation, deploying Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi as wing-backs. They are likely to start either side of three centre-backs comprising of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Eduoard Mendy is still the Blues’ number one keeper despite Kepa Arrizabalaga starting against Newcastle recently and is set to continue between the sticks over the weekend.
A midfield duo of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho have begun their time under Tuchel extremely impressively, providing a solid base behind Mason Mount and Timo Werner, who are charged with providing the attacking impetus in central areas.
Olivier Giroud’s incredible bicycle kick against Atletico should see him return to the starting XI on Sunday as the World Cup winner goes in search of his 12th goal of the campaign.
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