PREMIER LEAGUE

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW Sat: Chelsea v Manchester United

Neither Chelsea or Manchester United look likely to challenge for the Premier League title, but both look set for a tussle for the top-four so this fixture could end up being pivotal in the race for the Champions League.

Chelsea have shown some promising signs since Graham Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel in early-September, but were left frustrated in their last Premier League outing when they could only manage a goalless draw against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.

They will be looking to improve on that result against Manchester United on Saturday in an attempt to further cement their position in the Champions League places.

Kepa Arrizabalaga has found himself back as Chelsea’s number one goalkeeper in recent weeks with Edouard Mendy dropping to the bench after a dip in form and – after the Spanaird’s impressive recent performances – is likely to keep his place between the sticks.

Conor Gallagher was forced off with illness at Brenford last week after just a quarter of an hour but has been training since and should be all okay to come back into the side for this important clash with Manchester United.

Chelsea v Manchester United
Premier League
17:30 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HDR

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
APR 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
NOV 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United
FEB 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United
OCT 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea
JUL 2020 FA CUP Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea
FEB 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United
OCT 2019 EFL CUP Chelsea 1-2 Manchester United
AUG 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea
APR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
FEB 2019 FA CUP Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester United secured themselves a mightily impressive win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, but sadly it was overshadowed somewhat by the drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo.

With a couple of minutes remaining in the match, Ronaldo – clearly frustrated at his lack of game-time – decided to storm off the bench and out of Old Trafford with it later transpiring that he had also refused to come on as a substitute in the match.

These actions mean that Ronaldo has been banished from the first-team squad by United manager Erik Ten Hag and the veteran Portuguese forward will not be involved in the match-day party at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

It won’t come as too much of a blow to United, though, with the Red Devils often looking more fluid and cohesive with Ronaldo out of the side and either Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial leading the line through the middle.

Casemiro has had a slow start to life at Old Trafford since joining from Real Madrid in the summer, but the 30-year-old was impressive against Spurs in midweek and is likely to keep his place in midfield alongside Fred who scored the crucial opening goal in that 2-0 victory.

A lot is riding on this game for both sides with this fixture potentially having a massive influence on the race for the top-four and, therefore, I am expecting a caginess from both sides. At 12/5, a draw looks appealing as does a correct scoreline of 1-1 at 11/2.

JOE CITRONE


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