When Chelsea and Manchester United resume their rivalry in the Premier League on Saturday evening, the fifth-place team will try to pass the fourth-place team in an exciting matchup that will take place at Stamford Bridge.
In midweek action, the Blues and Brentford battled to a scoreless draw, while Erik ten Hag’s squad cruised to a 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur. The Blues were held to a scoreless draw by Brentford.
Our Match Preview: Chelsea vs Manchester United
Kepa Arrizabalaga saved Chelsea’s bacon against Aston Villa, and he did it again when Chelsea’s five-game winning streak ended. Kepa’s compatriot David Raya was also in great form as the West London derby went scoreless.
But Potter’s team remains in the driving seat for Champions League football thanks to a strong defensive record. One point for Chelsea was enough to preserve them in the fourth and final Champions League berth, three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand.
Defeat for Chelsea would knock them out of the Champions League spots, but Potter’s team welcomes Man United to Stamford Bridge having preserved a clean sheet in each of their past five Premier League games.
The hosts are undefeated at Stamford Bridge this season and have won their previous three Premier League games there, although Man United have shown a fondness for performances against Big Six opponents from the capital under Ten Hag.
Tottenham supporters may have reveled in Liverpool and Arsenal’s losses at Old Trafford this season, but they departed Old Trafford with their tails between their legs as Ten Hag’s team dominated.
After being frustrated by Hugo Lloris in the first half, Man United scored in fortunate circumstances in the 47th minute when Fred’s shot deflected off Ben Davies into the bottom corner.
Bruno Fernandes’s second goal was everything but lucky. Many hailed Man United’s 2-0 triumph as their greatest performance under Ten Hag, whose team pushed tirelessly throughout the 90. If they win again this weekend, they’ll move into the top four.
United have won four of their past five in all competitions and nine of 12 since losing 4-0 at Brentford.
Chelsea has more clean sheets, but the visitors have three in a row. Each of the previous four Premier League matches between Chelsea and Man United has finished in a tie, and the Blues are looking to improve on their one victory in 11 meetings with United.
Our Team News: Chelsea vs Manchester United
The Chelsea bench will include Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech against Brentford, although Wesley Fofana (knee), Reece James (ankle), and N’Golo Kante (thigh) will not.
There were concerns that England might suffer another injury when Conor Gallagher was taken off the field after just 15 minutes on Wednesday, but Potter has now explained that Gallagher’s departure was due to sickness.
Still, following such a spectacular performance as a replacement, Mateo Kovacic is likely to be called back into the starting lineup. Ben Chilwell should return to the left side after getting the week off, and so should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling.
Armando Broja and Kai Havertz will make way for them. It was said that Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, left the stadium totally after hobbling off the sidelines after Man United’s 2-1 win against Tottenham, which spoiled the victory for several fans.
Axel Tuanzebe (unspecified), Brandon Williams (unspecified), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (muscle), Harry Maguire (hamstring), Donny van de Beek (muscle), and Anthony Martial (back) are all still out for the season, and Ten Hag has promised to address the matter in the coming days.
Ten Hag welcomed Christian Eriksen back from sickness on Wednesday, and Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire are also close to recovering, but Fred put in a great performance against Spurs and will not give up his starting spot easily.
- Chelsea possible starting lineup: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Silva, Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kovacic, Chilwell, Sterling, Mount, Aubameyang.
- Manchester United possible starting lineup: De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Fred, Antony, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford.
Our Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United
Manchester United will enter this match with confidence after finally beating Lloris on Wednesday, despite it needing many attempts. A more clinical team than Aston Villa or Brentford would have ended Chelsea’s clean sheet record by now.
Aside from the Etihad, Ten Hag’s bread and butter so far have been performances in big games. However, with Potter making some critical adjustments and Wednesday’s exertions having a particular toll on Man United, we may see a third consecutive 1-1 draw in this matchup.