Manchester United got a huge boost before the international break thanks to their last-gasp 3-2 win over Newcastle United the last time out. However, now The Red Devils needs to confirm their rise in a venue that has been historically complicated for them. Jose Mourinho’s men will take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this Saturday and a win here is key to continue the team’s rise on the Premier League standings.
Read on to find out everything you need to know prior to Saturday’s contest:
Manchester United are in the middle of what we could call an “injury crysis”, as Mourinho described it during Friday’s press conference. “Then we came back and we were waiting for the boys to come back from their national teams. Some came back in good condition and the happiness of some good results. Some came back with injuries, injuries that we were aware of when they happened and the national teams were correct in sending the boys back. We also had surprises with players that we had no idea that they were injured and they arrived with important injuries.
Let’s make things clearer. Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Diogo Dalot, Marouane Fellaini and Luke Shaw suffered injury problems during the international break. Plus, we mustn’t forget that Marcos Rojo, Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera were also dealing with fitness issues prior to the break. Herrera willl return, but the rest of the aforementioned names will be unavailable. As a result, The Red Devils will be slightly depleted ahead of this tie.
Chelsea also have a few injury concerns, but aren’t as big as United’s ones. Ethan Ampadu is dealing with a knee problem, while attacking-minded players Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi are not at 100%. The biggest doubt is Antonio Rudiger, who had to leave Germany’s camp due to a groin issue. However, manager Maurizio Sarri is confident the Germany international will recover in time to feature here.
If we look at both sides’ recent form, we can see there have been drastic changes on both sides. Manchester United have been extremely inconsistent and while the 3-2 win over Newcastle should give the team a boost going forward, there are lots of areas where the side need to improve before calling themselves a reliable Top 4 contender. One of them is their away form, as United own a W2, L2 in four road matches.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have been one of the best teams in the Premier League thus far. They might be one step below Liverpool and Manchester City, but The Blues are the real deal this season. Coming off a convincing 3-0 away win at Southampton the last time out, Chelsea sit at the top of the standings with both The Reds and The Citizens with 20 points after eight matches (W6, D2). At home they are undefeated thanks to a W3, D1 mark.
What is our record against Chelsea?
We have played the Blues 180 times across all competitions since 1905. Chelsea actually have a slightly better record than United over the years: W54, D76, L49. The sides last locked horns in last year’s Emirates FA Cup final, which Chelsea won 1-0.
Undoubtedly, this is going to be a tough game for Manchester United. Chelsea are in top form, and The Red Devils have lots of concerns related to injuries. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends with a home win. Chelsea have simply been better than United all season long. They shouldn’t have problems to prove it at home.