Manchester United vs Chelsea Preview

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Image from Sky Sports

A season-defining match tomorrow. Manchester United host Chelsea in a make-it-or-break-it match for the race for Top Four with three games to go. Both teams need a win or face Europa League football next season. Here’s all you need to know:

Teams: Manchester United vs Chelsea
Location: Old Trafford
KO: Sunday 28th April 16:30 GMT (Live on Sky Sports)
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mauricio Sarri
Referee: Martin Atkinson

What form do both teams go into this game in?

As every United knows, Ole’s team has a very poor run of form after being dumped out of the FA Cup by Wolves, the Champions League by Barcelona and dealt humbling back-to-back losses to Everton (4-0) and Manchester City (0-2). Not ideal form going into a pressurised run in.

Chelsea go into this game in a relatively poor run of form with their last win in the Premier League at the beginning of the month after an Eden Hazard masterclass against West Ham. Since then they have narrowly beaten Slavia Prague in both home and away legs to progress on a 5-3 aggregate in which all credit should go to the Czechian First League leaders who gave a good fight at the Bridge with an end result of 4-3. Between the two legs, Chelsea travelled to Anfield and lost easily to Liverpool with a well worked opener from Sadio Mane and a wonder goal from Mo Salah. Last time out, after another humbling loss for Manchester United, Chelsea could have gone up to 3rd place with a win against Burnley but a 2-2 draw was all that Chelsea could find despite having 77% of the possession. Not ideal form but promising signs that, unlike their counterparts, they can put the ball into the back of the net.

What could this game mean for both teams?
United could go as high as fourth with a win against Chelsea but for that to happen, Arsenal will have to lose to Leicester earlier that day and United will have to beat Chelsea by four goals to go ahead on goals for. Chelsea could remain fourth with a win (level on points with Spurs) and put one foot in fourth spot. Realistically a draw would not be ideal for either team as it would allow Arsenal to leapfrog if they beat Leicester and would ask too much of Solskjaer’s team with two games to go. Both teams need to win.

Team News:
Manchester United could be without Scott McTominay who is being assessed before the game but could welcome back Ander Herrera who has missed the last six matches through a hamstring issue. Bailly and Valencia are still out and Rojo remians a doubt after coming off against West Ham.
Chelsea will be without Callum Hudson-Odoi who confirmed his season was over after sustaining an Achilles injury. Rudiger is back for Chelsea but Kante is a big doubt and so Chelsea may play a midfield three of Kovacic, Barkley and Jorginho.

Interesting Stats:

  • Chelsea have now failed to win at Old Trafford since 2015. Since then United drew in 2015/16 and have won back-to-back games.
  • Eden Hazard has five goals against Manchester United conversely the top goalscorer against Chelsea in the Manchester United camp is Romelu Lukaku with three goals.
  • Manchester United have failed to score a goal since Pogba’s 80th minute penalty against West Ham and haven’t scored from open play since McTominay’s 13th minute strike against Wolves on the 2nd of April.
  • David de Gea has not kept a clean sheet against Chelsea since 2017 in United’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford.
Team Selection and Prediction
De Gea is set to start after Ole confirmed he will not be dropped. Young will probably play alongside Smalling, Lindelof and Shaw. Despite being named the worst signing of the season, Fred’s recent form will probably keep him in the squad and with Pogba and McTominay alongside him, should compile a solid midfield. Upfront, I would have Lukaku and Rashford for sure and Lingard to play as a no.10 and press Jorginho and create sharp counter-attacks.
United have to win or that’s really it for Champions League football next season, I think if they are clinical and put in the effort they did against City in the first half they can blow this Chelsea team away. 
Predicted Team: De Gea, Young (c), Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Fred, Lingard, Rashford, Lukaku

PREDICTED SCORE: 2-0 to United

Author: TUD Author