|Another heavy-weight clash in the Premier League this season
but who will come out on top?
Another ‘Big Six’ battle in the Barclays Premier League for Manchester United and its a trip down to Stamford Bridge awaiting the Red Devils on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho will hope for a better set of results than away to Chelsea last year with the 4-0 hammering and the 1-0 defeat in the FA Cup given his team’s gritty wins over Tottenham and Benfica and Chelsea’s poor Champions League defeat to Roma clearly displaying their second season slip after winning the title last year.
Jose Mourinho will almost certainly use the same tactics he used at Old Trafford last April to ‘control Chelsea’ as he said in the post match interview but despite critics claiming that Manchester United should not be playing conserved football, Jose has claimed in the pre-match press conference that the press and critics have given double standards for the way that Manchester United perform and other teams.
He claimed: “Similar performances for some clubs are magic, examples of brilliant tactics and amazing attitudes by the players. For other teams, the same kind of performance becomes a conservative, negative – so many adjectives. Just as an example, Tottenham beat Liverpool 4-1 and Real Madrid 3-1 but did not score against Manchester United, so we deserve credit.”
As for the team news, Manchester United’s midfield is limited to very few players due to the injuries to Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and of course Paul Pogba who are still unavailable for Sunday’s fixture. Jesse Lingard limped off the Old Trafford pitch at half-time nursing his hip and was replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan who once again put in a lacklustre and overall sub-par performance so Juan Mata will be hoping to show his quality against his former team.
After being selected for the England squad, Ashley Young will hope to continue his good run of form in the left wing-back position and Marcus Rashford will also hope to start another Premier League game alongside Romelu Lukaku who will still be hoping to finally score again since September against Crystal Palace.
As for Chelsea, Victor Moses is still injured and so either Cesar Azpilicueta or David Zappacosta will start as the right wing-back and David Luiz will certainly return to the starting lineup. N’Golo Kante is back in training and pushing for the first team place and to keep his good run of form against Manchester United but otherwise Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas will retain their place in the starting lineup.
Overall it seems that Manchester United will be more defensively inclined but will have to take their chances when/if they get them at Stamford Bridge to come away with anything and with Manchester City looking on fire this season and Harry Kane returning for Spurs, the Red Devils will need to get something from this game to keep pushing for the title and it may be a one goal game and could easily go either way.
De Gea, Bailly, Smalling, Jones, Valencia, Herrera, Matic, Young, Mata, Rashford, Lukaku
Courtois, Cahill, Luiz, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro, Hazard, Morata