Manchester United are back in Premier League action. After their consecutive away defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, and a goal-difference of 1-7 in those 180 minutes of football, the Red Devils are returning to Manchester to play yet another tough match.
This time, it will be Chelsea. Still reigning champions of Europe are coming to Old Trafford in what could be a match that could seal United’s hopes of Premier League football once and for all, or it could at least give Ralf Rangnick’s side a glimmer of hope that such a late comeback is possible.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of the Thursday night clash.
Manchester United will have several absentees from this match. Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani missed the last match against Arsenal due to injuries, but right now, they will have more teammates along their side. Harry Maguire’s knee problem will keep him on the sideliness, while Jadon Sancho’s illness is another problem for Ralf Rangnick. Fred will miss out as well, which means we could see plenty of changes from the Red Devils.
Chelsea, on the other hand, will have a slightly better situation. Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi have been out for a long time already, while Mateo Kovacic will have to sit this one out due to ankle injury. The likes of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger should be back in the fold for this match.
With two wins in the last 10 matches in all competitions, it is easy to see why Manchester United’s form has been branded as appaling. Man United have lost their last three away matches, scoring just one goal in 270 minutes of football. At home, they won against Norwich the last time they played at Old Trafford, after a lot of trouble, it was 3-2 for the Devils. All of these results have put United in a really tough spot, sitting in sixth, far away from Champions League qualification. At this point, Europa League seems like the only realistic possibility for this team, although an upturn in form will be needed to stay there, since West Ham are also close behind them in seventh place.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are doing much better. After losing 3-1 to Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge, they have improved. A 6-0 win at Southampton’s St Mary’s is a particular highlight, but they also managed to beat Real Madrid 3-1 in 90 minutes of football. However, in the extra-time, a conceded goal meant they exited Champions League at the quarter-final stages. Still, they defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 in the FA Cup semifinal, reaching another domestic cup final this season. A 4-2 home loss to Arsenal was a shock, but the Blues were without plenty of first-choice defenders in that match. In yet another London derby, Chelsea then dispatched West Ham to remain firm in third place of the Premier League standings.
Considering everything, this match could be an open one, with Chelsea being the slight favourites. We predict Manchester United will hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw this time out, showing resilience they have lacked recently and stopping their run of defeats in the league.