Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to take on defending champions Chelsea in the Premier League this Sunday.
United come into the match on the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over SL Benfica in the UEFA Champions League, when an own goal from Mile Svilar and a Daley Blind penalty helped United bag all three points. The win has left United on the brink of Round of 16 qualification, as the Red Devils now require only one point from their two remaining games in order to advance to the knockout stage. Their last action in the Premier League came last Saturday, when they defeated high-flying Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the league, courtesy of a late goal from substitute Anthony Martial. The win meant that United stayed second in the league, three points behind Manchester City and three points ahead of third-placed Spurs.
Chelsea, on the other hand, were thrashed 3-0 by Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday, and will be looking to put their disappointment behind and would be looking forward tasting a victory and improve their league position. They are now fourth in the league with 19 points, and defeated Bournemouth last time out through Eden Hazard’s sole goal.
In team news, United boss Mourinho hasn’t given any updates on the return of injured players like Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo or Marouane Fellaini. Jesse Lingard, however, is expected to play a part as the boss confirmed that his back injury from the midweek wasn’t serious at all. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nearing a return to first-team action, and it’ll be a big surprise if his name pops up in the travelling squad list. Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford are expected to return to the starting line-up this weekend, while Nemanja Matic will be facing his former club for the very first time since joining the Reds in the summer transfer window.
The Blues, on the other hand, do not have a lot of injury concerns and the only first-teamer expected to sit out the game is Victor Moses, who is out with a hamstring injury. Antonio Conte will be hopeful of N’Golo Kante’s return, who has been out with a thigh injury sustained in the previous international break. His return could boost the hopes of the Chelsea faithful, as he has fond memories against this club, as he scored both in the FA Cup and the league last season when facing United at Stamford Bridge.
This’ll be one of the games of the season, and expect plenty of fireworks this Sunday. Mourinho will be desperate to get one over his former employers, and has enough reason to believe that it’s possible since the Blues aren’t exactly on top of their form right now and haven’t had a great defensive record as well. Conte, however, will be firing up his side to try and end up with nothing less than three points.
This game would basically decide if City are already running with the title or if United will try to chase them for a while. Expect end-to-end action this Sunday, and as I always say, I’d love to see United come out on top, and even if it looks unlikely at the moment, I’d put my money on a 2-1 away victory.