Chelsea vs Manchester United is always a big game but with things being so tight at the top of the table, this becomes a must win match for the Blues. This won’t be a usual matchup either, and both teams have some interesting sub-plots going on as they prepare for this afternoon. Chelsea will obviously have to find a way to deal with the loss of Ben Chilwell and the refereeing of Anthony Taylor, whereas Manchester United will have to find a way of breaking down Europe’s sturdiest defence with no full-time manager in charge.
Chelsea have had a tough time against United in recent memory and haven’t won in the league against the Red Devils in 7 attempts. Although form and past matchups may go out the window thanks to Manchester United’s sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Chelsea have enjoyed more success in the cups but that won’t matter much to Thomas Tuchel. He will be looking to get another three points on the board and ensure Liverpool or City don’t gain any ground on his team this week.
On a positive note, Chelsea have a largely full strength attack to choose from for the first time in months. Kai Havertz has recovered from his small hamstring problem and is available for selection again, while Romelu Lukaku is at least fit enough to be on the bench. Kante and Chilwell are both unfortunately out after getting injured against Juventus. Kovacic is still not ready to be involved.
Manchester United are missing key players as well though. Pogba and Varane are both definitely out and Harry Maguire is suspended. A few others like Shaw, Fred, Greenwood and Cavani are doubts as well but could be involved at some point.
It’s a little bit tricky to analyse how this game will go. The rumour is that Ralph Rangnick will become the new Manchester United interim manager, but he won’t be in charge on Sunday. This means that caretaker boss Michael Carrick will still be in the dugout for this one. A big worry for Chelsea is that there could be a new manager bounce and the United players that have been underperforming for so long will turn up to play. Although it’s also possible that not much will have changed in the week since Solskjaer left.
What is certain, is that Chelsea will have to be fully concentrated. Sometimes these unpredictable opponents can be the most dangerous ones to play against.
Ahead of the match, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social have shared their match predictions:
It is Chelsea vs Manchester United at Stamford Bridge to round out Matchweek 13 of the Premier League. Chelsea have been in Blue-hot form over the past week. Following the 3-0 demolition inflicted upon a toothless Foxes, the reigning European Champions put on a clinic against Juventus and sent the Old Lady into retirement via a 4-0 thrashing at the Bridge. This strong set of performances continues a broader trend of the Blues this season in the League as they have scored 30, conceded 4 and find themselves on top of the table (1 point ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand).
Unfortunately though, these most recent convincing victories have not come without cost. During the Juve clash, both Ballon D’or nominee N’Golo Kanté and the high-flying English International Ben Chilwell both sustained injuries. The latter is more serious as Tuchel confirmed Chilly partially tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and will be out for at least until the end of the year at which point his injury will be reassessed I.e. operation vs natural healing. Here’s hoping Ben keeps his spirits up and makes a swift recovery. How we handle Chilly’s absence will be key.
Adding to this is the continued absence of our Croatian Sensation Mateo Kovacic, along with the touch and go situation with Romelu Lukaku, although as he is believed to be able to take part but not a strong contender to start.
On the other side of the ledger, the visitors have been in woeful form. With 4 losses out of their past 5 in the League (albeit they secured a 3-0 win against an equally poor Spurs), the manner of some of these defeats has been very concerning if one were a United fan. A 4-1 loss last time out against Watford, along with a 4-2 loss against Leicester, 2-0 against Manchester City and 5-0 thrashing from Liverpool were all very damaging defeats for varying reasons. Caretaker manager Michael Carrick did a solid job to help steer the ship with his first game in charge against Villareal as the Red Devils earned a hard-fought 2-0 away from home. Time will tell if they can continue to make their comeback, but with Ralf Rangnick aka ‘the Godfather of Gegenpressing’ to be brought in, perhaps this will spark some sort of reaction from the players possibly playing for their long term futures. That said, United also have their own injury and unavailability concerns as Varane, Greenwood are expected to be out but Shaw and Cavani may be back, and Maguire is also out given his suspension following the Watford match.
With the above in mind, I would select the following line-up for the Blues to take on United: Mendy, Rudiger, Silva, Chalobah, Alonso, James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic, Mount. I would also look to bring on Havertz, Lukaku, and keep a sub for insurance e.g. Azpilicueta or Ziyech.
A win here maintains our positive momentum as our staggering fixture list begins to really heat up!
In the end, I’m expecting more of the same from our boys, and despite a motivated effort from United, we should have enough to walk away from this important clash with all 3 points. Here’s hoping!
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Manchester United
Rey Stevinho (@Rey_Blues39)
One of the biggest games of the season, Chelsea vs Manchester United, is upon us. Despite United’s struggles and woes, Chelsea will have to be prepared for their offensive quality. It is well known that Manchester United have been dreadful defensively, but the Blues will have to check in and do their job.
This is a huge test for the Thomas Tuchel’s Blues as it means having the right mindset against a struggling side. This is football where anything is possible therefore being concentrated is paramount.
I expect a rejuvenated United side in terms of energy levels and focus. I don’t expect us to landslide them as we did Juventus, but I do hope to win the game. Ralf Rangnick is still not available for head coaching so United will still lineup with Michael Carrick on the sidelines.
The return of Havertz could make things easier offensively as we will miss Chilwell on the left. We could see Azpi be deployed instead of Alonso but this might cause shake the Spaniards confidence.
Nevertheless, I predict a back and forth encounter between the two English giants in where Chelsea are the more clinical. CMON YOU BLUES!
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United
Maria Dulce (@usernamedulce)
Chelsea vs Manchester United is absolutely as good as it gets! To complete the run of high-level games for Chelsea in November – so far with two clean sheets and seven goals in total – there is only one more to go, and it’s Premier League royalty.
Realistically, though, Man United’s situation doesn’t inspire any confidence at all. Looking back at a few Premier League clashes, the Red Devils have conceded five goals to Liverpool, two to Man City, and just last weekend, four to Watford. Even though this is the post-Ole era and the team is under new management, United still has much to figure out in terms of style of play, formation, and definite starters.
On the other hand, Tuchel’s Blues look more dangerous than ever. Having put three goals past Leicester away and having completely smashed Juventus at home in midweek, there’s just one result to expect this Sunday – and that is three points for the Blues. Chelsea has finally clicked offensively, not to mention the extraordinary defensive displays from Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, and Rudiger. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect the Blues to fully dominate the game, dictating its rhythm and breaking down the opposition’s defence.
Thus, although firmly believing Chelsea will have full control over the match, United will try to hold on to their ground, and it will certainly be an extremely entertaining 90 minutes. Up the Chels!
Prediction: Chelsea 3-0 Manchester United
Sam Tabuteau (@tabuteauS)
Chelsea know full well that Manchester United, for all their shortcomings, this season will come to Stamford Bridge eager to impress new boss Ralf Ragnick. Whilst the German won’t be in the dugout for Sundays fixture, Messrs Ronaldo and Co. will have a lot to prove following last weekend’s harrowing defeat to Watford.
United did return to winning ways against Villarreal, but it was Chelsea who took all the plaudits from neutrals alike as they dismantled Juventus. Despite the win, Thomas Tuchel will have been left ruing his luck with injuries, as both Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante had to be substituted.
Romelu Lukaku also remains unavailable, but Chelsea seem to head into games with an air of inevitability these days and will fancy themselves to continue their excellent run of form.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Manchester United
With Chelsea vs Manchester United on the horizon, Thomas Tuchel will certainly be hoping to avoid any unnecessary slip ups against a team we realistically should be beating.
My main worry with the United game is the injuries to certain players, such as Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic. Whilst Chelsea do have great squad depth, I think we may struggling at left wing back to replace Ben Chilwell, however I expect Alonso to start in his place, together with the fact that I feel like Chelsea will aim to be on the front foot from the get go.
I would also think that Ruben Loftus-Cheek would come into the side after his midweek impressive cameo. The game could go either way with referee Anthony Taylor in charge, however despite this I do think that Chelsea will overcome the Red Devils eventually, with goals coming late on. I personally think the game will end with a win to the blues!
Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United
Written by Chelsea Extra (@CFCExtra) with help from RJ, Rey, Maria, Sam & Ben
Edited by Dan Hill
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