This week’s big talking point ahead of the clash at Old Trafford has been whether Angel di Maria and Diego Costa will be fit to play.
The latest reports suggests that both of them will be involved in the match, however Costa’s fitness will be touch and go up until kick off.
Last season saw the pair go goalless off the Old Trafford pitch and share the points, though this weekend Jose Mourinho will be looking to claim all three points against a struggling Manchester United outfit.
Chelsea team news
In addition to the doubts surrounding Costa’s fitness, Ramires, John Mikel Obi and Andre Schurrle are all in with a chance of playing a part again after injuries. Cesar Azpilicueta is also suspended and must sit out.
The manager said on Friday:
I still don’t know who is available.
The prospects are not as bright for Loic Remy, who injured his groin while scoring the opener in the thrashing of Maribor this week.
The Frenchman is likely to be out for a few weeks, and consequently misses out on Sunday’s trip to Manchester.
A win at Old Trafford will open up an eight-point gap down to Manchester City, who lost 2-1 at West Ham in the early kick off on Saturday.
Manchester United team news
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will miss out due to suspension and the match comes a week early for Michael Carrick to make his return to the Premier League.
The club has spent in the excess of £200M on new players since the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford just over a year ago, including Juan Mata from our ranks, Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera, Radamel Falcao, Luke Shaw and others.
Despite heavy investment in the team and a change of manager, they are still 10 points behind us going into this match.
Argentine di Maria has been their best player this season and is their creative force going forward through feeding Falcao and Robin van Persie. Stopping di Maria often means stopping Manchester United, and Nemanja Matic should be capable of doing just that.
Jose Mourinho was Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s assistant in Barcelona in the 1990s, though both have played down their alleged personal duel.
Juan Mata was the last Chelsea player to score at Old Trafford back in May 2013, but the Spaniard has since moved to Manchester United.
Because of the hosts’ position and situation, it’s not about stealing a point for Chelsea on Sunday. A win is more than doable and truth be told, anything but a win would be a bit disappointing, even if we don’t know how this unstable Manchester United will perform.
Mourinho will probably set up the team slightly more defensively than normal and rely on quick-fired counter-attacks. That’s a lethal weapon with the passing abilities of Cesc Fabregas and Oscar combined with Eden Hazard’s pace.
We predict a 3-1 win for Chelsea with goals from Hazard, Fabregas and whoever ends up leading the lines from the front. What is your prediction?