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Chelsea vs Manchester United – Premier League preview, Team news, Predicted line-ups and Prediction

Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge for Sunday’s much-anticipated Premier League clash.

The hosts have enjoyed a terrific first half to the season, and they are currently top of the table with 29 points.

However, it has been a different story for the visitors, who are languishing in eighth with just 17 points on the board.

They are already six points adrift of the Champions League places, and can’t afford to lose further ground.

On recent form, the Blues are genuine favourites to beat the Red Devils, but history has said otherwise.

The west London giants are winless in the last seven league meetings against their fierce league rivals.

However, they did beat them in the 2020 FA Cup semi-final with a comfortable 3-1 scoreline.

Team News:

Chelsea:

The Blues have plenty to worry about ahead of the game.

Mateo Kovacic and Kai Havertz were sidelined for the midweek European outing at Juventus with hamstring injuries.

They beat the Bianconeri comfortably by a 4-0 margin, but saw N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell pick up knee injuries.

While Kovacic is a definite absentee, Havertz, Kante and Chilwell are major doubts to face the Red Devils.

Manchester United:

The Red Devils also have problems of their own with Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane already ruled out with injuries.

Mason Greenwood will be missing after testing positive for coronavirus while Edinson Cavani is nursing a tendon issue.

Luke Shaw may return to action after following the mandatory concussion protocols, but Harry Maguire is suspended.

Predicted Line-ups:

Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner are available for selection after overcoming their respective injuries this month.

Werner came off the bench to bag the Blues’ fourth goal in the convincing win over Juventus on Tuesday night.

Despite their availability, it won’t be a surprise if Tuchel sticks with the same attacking combination.

There could be an enforced change in midfield with Ruben Loftus-Cheek replacing N’Golo Kante.

Marcos Alonso appears a straight-forward replacement for Ben Chilwell in the left wing-back position.

Chelsea (3-4-2-1): Edouard Mendy; Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger; Reece James, Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Marcos Alonso; Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi; Christian Pulisic.

United recently saw the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a shock 4-1 defeat at the hands of Watford.

There were some positives from the game with Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek leaving a good mark.

Both players started against Villarreal in midweek. The former excelled once again, bagging his maiden United goal.

There will be a few changes. Bruno Fernandes should play ahead of Van de Beek after his excellent cameo.

Shaw could replace Alex Telles at left-back while Eric Bailly appears set to take Maguire’s spot.

There could be a straight swap in the left-wing position with Marcus Rashford coming in for Anthony Martial.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Fred; Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford; Cristiano Ronaldo.

Prediction:

Last season’s meetings ended in goalless draws, but it is unlikely to be the case this time around.

The Blues have been in fine scoring form recently, and a majority of their goals have come from defenders.

Reece James has been a handful for teams from the right wing-back role, the centre-backs have also excelled.

United have underlying concerns from set-pieces. It could be a sixth defeat in eight league games for them.

Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and 11v11.com

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