Manchester United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday as both teams get set to battle it out for the second spot. This will be a crucial match in determining the fate of the two clubs since the Blues could either close the gap or United could solidify their position in the league standings. Regardless, the match will prove to be a high-octane one and Jose Mourinho will be looking to avenge for the loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Paul Pogba continues to be a doubt for United. He was benched for the clash against Sevilla and the young Scott McTominay took his place instead. Meanwhile, Ander Herrera has picked up a hamstring injury and he will join the likes of Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines.
De Gea, against Sevilla, once again proved, as to why he is regarded as the best in the game and he will have to be at his best to ensure United salvage 3 points against Chelsea.
Valencia seems to be in a slump of sorts lately but he is expected to essay his usual role at right-back against Chelsea. He can work wonders with his pace and defensive prowess and he will be important in maintaining a tight back line against the defending champions.
After Victor Lindelof’s lacklustre display against Sevilla, Bailly could return to the starting XI and Mourinho will be hoping that he puts up a solid show.
Although nervy at times, Smalling has done decently for United at a time when most of their central defenders have been in and out of injuries. Hence, the player is expected to start against Chelsea.
Young’s mobile nature and defensive solidity will once again be crucial on Sunday. There will be no margin for errors when Antonio Conte’s men pay a visit and Young will have to be at his best.
Matic continues to be an influential figure for United and his impact will help the club to dictate the proceedings in the middle of the park.
Now, whenever Pogba has played this role (be it against Tottenham or Newcastle), United have faltered miserably. In contrast, McTominay put in a decent display against Sevilla and partnered well with Matic as well. Hence, Mourinho might hand the young star another chance on Sunday.
Lingard might take up his usual role on the right-wing after Juan Mata’s underwhelming display against Sevilla. He is nippy, agile, creative and his power will be needed against Chelsea.
Mata is more suited to the role of an attacking midfielder due to his creative prowess and it is likely that Mourinho might deploy him in this role against Chelsea.
Sanchez has blown hot and cold for United ever since joining the club but he has the skills required to unlock a tough Chelsea defence, which should see him earn a starting spot on Sunday.
Lukaku performed well against Huddersfield and Mourinho will require his towering striker to reprise the same form against Conte’s men as well.
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