Manchester United return to the Premier League on Saturday evening following an exceptional 2-1 win against PSG. We welcome fellow top four contenders, Chelsea to Old Trafford in what will be an entertaining battle.
United were said to be in disarray over a week ago. Our manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær could have been facing the sack if things did not improve after the 6-1 defeat by Tottenham.
As Chelsea arrive at the Theatre of Dreams, they find a team that has returned to winning ways in the Premier League after defeating Newcastle United 4-1. Against all the odds, we upset last season’s Champions League runners up, PSG at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.
Ole will be hoping there is no hangover from the PSG game like there was the last time we beat them 19 months ago. We lost the next two games and then only won the next three of our twelve games in all competitions.
The corresponding fixture on the opening day of the 2019/20 season saw us run out as 4-0 winners against the Blues.
A repeat performance from last season’s fixture would cap an excellent week for the Reds. The concern at the moment would be that the five of the last six victories in all competitions have come away from home.
We are currently searching for our first points of the season at Old Trafford having tasted two defeats in the league already. We have only secured two points from our last twelve available at our own ground.
Our opponents’ away record has not been great in particular due to their defensive woes.
Form wise, Chelsea surrendered their lead against Southampton as they could only draw 3-3. On Tuesday night, they drew again against Sevilla in the Champions League.
United will want to capitalise on the Blues defensive frailties and it could be the perfect opportunity to gain our first points of the season at Old Trafford.
Teams: Manchester United vs Chelsea
Date: October 24th 2020 (Saturday)
KO Time: 17:30 BST
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Frank Lampard
On the sidelines is Eric Bailly who is out for the next three to four weeks with a muscle injury according to Solskjær. Captain, Harry Maguire will be assessed after he missed the PSG game due to a knock.
The injury is not too serious and Solskjær will give him every opportunity to prove his fitness. So, it is likely he will be back in the starting eleven.
Solskjær may revert to a back four for Saturday. This might mean Victor Lindelof drops to the bench given the excellent display by Tuanzebe against PSG
Ole gave an update on those players missing from the PSG, during the pre-match press conference adding, “I hope and expect all three of them to be available for selection. We’ve got a training session this morning, but they’ve got a chance, all of them. Edinson, he wants to tick all the boxes that he’s gone through in his programme and be ready to make an impact. I think his last preparation will be today and then we’ll have a discussion with him. It seemed positive yesterday for Mason and Harry, so hopefully.”
Alex Telles showed great promise on his debut and might have done enough to keep his place in the side, meaning Luke Shaw misses out. Aaron Wan-Bissaka should again be at right-back for this game.
Anthony Martial remains suspended for the next two Premier League games. Marcus Rashford will start upfront whilst Edinson Cavani is still trying to gain his fitness, though the Uruguayan could make his debut from the bench.
It’s the first game back at Old Trafford since the defeat against Tottenham, Ole was asked if victory would erase this memory.
He said, “I don’t think anything will erase that memory because it will always be in the history books. We’ve always got to live with having that result and that performance. You can look back at that performance and the different reasons why we ended up with that result. But we’ve got to focus on moving on and going forward. It’s happened so many times at this club where you’ve had results that maybe come out of the blue, or setbacks that you have to bounce back from. So far, we’ve bounced back well, but now it’s about consistency.”
He was also asked about the confidence and belief after victories against Newcastle and PSG, “Of course it’s very important. If you lose games you’re determined and want to win the next one; you want to bounce back. I could see that focus before the Newcastle game and, of course, if you win against PSG that gives you more belief and confidence. Two very good performances and results, but now is the next game and that’s what we’re focused on.”
For Chelsea, we can expect to see their new signing Edouard Mendy in goal. They have a full-strength squad to pick from with Billy Gilmour and Kepa Arrizabalaga being the only absentees. Lampard played down any injury concerns to Thiago Silva after he fell awkwardly against Sevilla. Hakim Ziyech will also be pushing for a start.
Manchester United Premier League form: LWLW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WWWLWW
Chelsea Premier League form: WLDWD
Chelsea form (all competitions): WDLWDD
- United are looking secure to three consecutive top-flight wins against Chelsea for the first time since September 1965.
- Marcus Rashford has scored four goals in his last three games against Chelsea in all competitions.
- Bruno Fernandes has been involved in 20 goals in his last 18 Premier League appearances (11 goals, 9 assists).
- United vs Chelsea is the most played fixture between the top-flight sides with this being the 82nd meeting between the teams in all competitions.
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Telles, Pogba, Matic, McTominay Fernandes, Mata and Rashford.
We head into this game full of confidence but we must be wary that we have not played well during our first two games at Old Trafford. Chelsea will want to exploit this.
We have more than enough in our attack to cause the Chelsea defence problems. It remains to be seen whether Greenwood, Cavani and Maguire make the starting line up.
It will be an intriguing battle between both sides as we look to continue the good run of form we have had in the last week.
Predicted Score: Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea