MANCHESTER UNITED VS CHELSEA (PREVIEW & STATS)
Manchester United vs Chelsea is upon us this Sunday and as you know its a top of the table clash that always provides Fireworks. Not to mention the current bad blood between the two Managers of these clubs. It sure promises to be a cracking affair. In the first game at Stamford Bridge in November an Alvaro Moratta goal settled things for the Blues. United will be looking to avenge that loss no doubt about it. After three successive away games,where they lost 1, drew 1 and won 1, the Reds are back at Old Trafford this weekend, for only the second time this month, for the visit of reigning Premier League champions Chelsea. Both teams come into the game on the back of draws against Spanish opponents in midweek in the Champions League and Jose Mourinho’s men will be looking to return to winning ways in the league after a 1-0 defeat away at Newcastle in their last outing. Sunday’s encounter will undoubtedly have a big impact on the race for a top-four finish, with the Reds looking to increase the gap over Chelsea to six points with a victory.
The Reds were without Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Sevilla but were boosted by the return of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford as substitutes on Wednesday night. However, the boss confirmed on Friday that Ander Herrera will be out “for a few weeks” after the midfielder sustained a recurrence of a muscle injury early on in midweek while trying to do a backheel. Eric Bailly could also make his 50th appearance for the club and his first start since our last game against Chelsea on 5 November. For Chelsea, defender David Luiz and midfield duo Ross Barkley and Tiemoue Bakayoko are out of Sunday’s game but striker Alvaro Morata is available again.
Jose Mourinho has seen his Man Utd side score more than once in just only one of their seven home Premier League games against fellow ‘big six’ teams, although it came last season versus Chelsea (W3 D2 L2).
He has lost only two of his 32 Premier League matches at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager (W18 D12), with both defeats coming at the hands of rivals Man City. Indeed, Mourinho’s (2.06) points per game ratio at Old Trafford for Man Utd is worse than both Louis van Gaal (2.24) and Alex Ferguson (2.42).
Mourinho has lost three matches in all competitions against Chelsea as Man Utd manager, more than against any other opponent.
Eden Hazard has found the net with each of his last three shots from open play – he had scored with three of his previous 31 open play efforts.
Romelu Lukaku has failed to score in any of his six Premier League matches against the ‘big six’ this season, attempting just four shots on target in those games.
Against West Brom, Chelsea named their ninth Premier League starting XI this season without a British player – they are the only side to have done so in the top-flight this season. The Blues had only named a non-British starting XI three times in 962 Premier League games before this season (twice in December 1999, once in April 2016).
So who will take this one? I predict the Blues will win this if the Manager finds the right balance in his lineup..Giroud and Moratta can dovetail well and cause the shaky backline of United a lot of trouble.