Chelsea take on Manchester United on Sunday in potentially a top four decider, with only three games to go for each side in the Premier League.
The Blues have another chance to make a big statement in the top four race, after Manchester United and Arsenal both lost midweek.
So Chelsea were let off the hook after the 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday night.
That draw, plus both United and Arsenal dropping points has left Chelsea in fourth place with 67 points, after 35 games being played.
Their opponents Manchester United come into this game on poor form- especially after recent losses in the Premier League against Manchester City, and Everton last weekend.
The Red Devils sit sixth in the Premier League table with 64 points, after 35 games being played. They are now certainly the dark horses in the race for the top four.
A win for Chelsea at the weekend will give them some breathing space on the race for top four.
A win for United will put them right back in the mix to get a top four space, and would make them favourites to snatch the fourth place position, as they have Cardiff and Huddersfield in their last two games.
A draw in this game will benefit Chelsea more than Manchester United in the top four race.
Recent form for both of these sides in the Premier League
Manchester United- W/L/W/L/L
This game is being televised in the UK. The game is being shown on Sky Sports Main Event, and Sky Sports Premier League. The game kick’s off at 4:30pm (UK time), with coverage starting at 3:30pm (UK time) for this game. This match is being played at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær confirmed in his press conference yesterday that Ander Herrera is in line to return for Manchester United on Sunday.
Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia are the only two United players that are out of this game due to each of their respective injuries.
The big news is that Rudiger is expected to make a return on Sunday to the Chelsea back four after he picked up an injury against Liverpool a few weeks ago.
Ngolo Kante is in line to play on Sunday after suffering a back injury on Monday night in the Burnley game.
Marcos Alonso and Ethan Ampadu are both out with injuries.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles on Monday night against Burnley.
Predicted starting elevens
Manchester United’s predicted XI (4-3-3)- De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelöf , Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Martial, Lingard, Rashford.
Chelsea’s predicted XI (4-3-3)- Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson; Jorginho, Kante, Loftus-Cheek; Hazard, Willian, Higuain.
Manchester United Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjær (Credit- @jamesrobsonES on Twitter)
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri (Quotes Credit- @NizaarKinsella on Twitter)
Sarri on Manchester United match: “We will try to win but we need not to lose. It is a difficult match for both, we have to play against opponents with a very high level of motivation after the Manchester derby.”
Sarri on injuries: “Rudiger is okay, at the moment. We are trying to recover Kante, I am not sure at the moment. The operation of Callum went in the right way.”
Sarri on Chelsea’s defending recently: “I think that in the last two matches, we had problems with the defensive phase not just the defensive line. We conceded two goals from set pieces in the last match, so it involved the whole team, not the defenders.”
Sarri on Man United loss of form: “They did very well for three months, probably in the last period they paid something, it can happen. I think for us on Sunday it will be a very difficult match. They lost the derby so motivation will be high.”
Head to Head record
These two sides have met 182 times over the years in all competitions with United having the better head to head record. The Red devils have beaten Chelsea 73 times over the years in all competitions. There have been 54 draws between these two sides in all competitions. The Blues have beaten Manchester United 53 times in all competitions over the years.
In terms of League competitions solely- these two sides have met 153 times with United having the better head to head record in that category aswell. The Red Devils have beaten Chelsea 61 times in League competitions over the years. There have been 47 draws between these two sides in League competitions. The Blues have beaten Manchester United 45 times in League competitions over the years.
The last meetings between these two sides came this season.
The first meeting came in October in the Premier League, when Ross Barkley’s injury time goal rescued Chelsea a point, as they drew 2-2 with Mourinho’s Red Devils at the time!
The most recent meeting came in the FA Cup in February, when Ole’s revitalized Manchester United at the time beat Chelsea 2-0 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, thanks to headed goals through Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera.
Betting Odds/Match Predictions
Sky Bet have made neither team favourites for this game, as a win for either side is being priced at 13/8. A draw is being priced at 12/5.
My realistic prediction as a journalist for this game is a 2-1 loss. I just think Manchester United will sbow a reaction, and we have a poor record at Old Trafford in recent years so it doesn’t look good for us.
Also we have a poor record away from home against the top four this season, so don’t be surprised to see us lose at the weekend.
My optimistic prediction as a fan for this game is a 1-1 draw. I think it will be a tough game, but hopefully we can nick a point, and I think Hazard will score the vital goal for us.
Comment down below your score predictions and predicted line ups for this game. Would you go for a false nine?
By Danyal Khan