Prediction: Correct Score – 1-1
Chelsea and Manchester United come together at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening as both sides aim to continue their fight for a top-four finish.
Following the end of both team’s respective winter breaks, the clash in West London could be key to the final standings of the UEFA Champions League positions come the end of the campaign, with the Red Devils currently sitting six points behind this weekend’s opponents.
Following their 2-2 draw against Leicester City before the break, Frank Lampard’s Blues now face a tense final three months of the season as they aim to make it back-to-back seasons in the Champions League for the first time since 2015. Chelsea’s current form has not been all to inspiring though having gone three games in the Premier League without a victory. They have not gone four matches on the spin without a league victory since the end of the 2015/16 season where they eventually finished tenth. Even more worryingly, they have only won two out of their last six matches at Stamford Bridge, losing three to relegation-threatened sides West Ham United, Southampton and Bournemouth. That poor form on home soil has been troubling Chelsea all season and they currently sit tenth in the table if just points earned at home are taken into account. Lampard and his charges will surely be attempting to rectify that poor form as they again come up against one of their rivals for the top four.
Christian Pulisic has been ruled out for the match, with the American set to be missing for at least another week. Meanwhile, the Blues’ top scorer Tammy Abraham will be subject to a late fitness test.
With Chelsea in somewhat indifferent form at the current time, the opportunity for Manchester United to pick up a crucial win is extremely high. At the time of writing, the Red Devils are sitting just six points behind Chelsea, with a win potentially putting them to within just three points of a top four position. Having said that, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops are not in terrific health either. United have lost three out of their last five matches in the Premier League, with their only league win since the turn of the year coming against relegation-threatened Norwich City. As a matter of fact, following their 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers last time, they have failed to score in their last three league matches. The Red Devils have not gone four league matches without hitting the back of the net in the top division of English football since 1989.
Solskjaer has some considerable injury worries for the match. Marcus Rashford remains out for a considerable period and joins fellow key players Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay on the sidelines. Defenders Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are both out injured and join Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant on the treatment table. Elsewhere, January signing Odion Ighalo could make his debut for the club despite not yet having trained with the Red Devils due to concerns over the Corona virus.
Key Facts To Consider
- Manchester United have a far better head-to-head record between the two sides (W80, D51, L54)
- The Red Devils have not lost to Chelsea in the Premier League since November 2017
- Manchester United have won both clashes between the two sides so far this season
- Marcus Rashford previously had a hand in 70% of the Red Devils goals against Chelsea in the last ten matches between the two sides
- Chelsea have never lost two league matches against Manchester United in the same Premier League season
Considering their record against Chelsea, Manchester United would usually be favourites heading into the game. However, considering the importance of the match in the context of the race for the Champions League, it could be a cagey affair. With Rashford also missing, that is another big blow to United’s chances of winning the game. It should be a low-scoring draw at Stamford Bridge.
Prediction: Correct Score – 1-1
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