Chelsea FC face Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United on Sunday in a clash that does not quite have the same importance or the same sense of occasion as it has in previous years, but will still mean a lot to both sets of supporters.
The Blues continue to be undefeated under interim manager Guus Hiddink, but there have been more draws than victories in the Premier League, and a rise to the top half of the table still does not seem as much of a certainty as it perhaps should.
Meanwhile, Manchester United appear to be recovering from what seemed to be a full-blown crisis, but Louis van Gaal’s men find themselves five points off the Champions League places, facing an uphill battle to finish in the top four given the form of the teams above them through the course of the season.
Possible starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanović, Zouma, Terry (C), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fàbregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa
Possible starting line-up (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson; Fellaini, Carrick; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rooney (C)
- Chelsea FC are unbeaten in their last six Premier League meetings with Manchester United (W3 D3).
- The Red Devils have won just twice at Stamford Bridge in the league since 2000 — the latest a controversial 3-2 win in 2012.
- Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink is unbeaten in his last five matches against Louis van Gaal (W4 D1).
- Manchester United have been beaten by the Blues more times than any other club in the Premier League era (16 losses).
- Chelsea currently have the longest unbeaten streak of any team in the league, picking up points in 8 consecutive games.
Chelsea FC 1 – 0 Manchester United
The return of Eden Hazard to the starting line-up will be a big boost for Chelsea if Hiddink decides to use the Belgian from the start, while this will also be Diego Costa’s first appearance against the Red Devils since his arrival in England. A make-shift United defence is unlikely to keep the Blues out, and although this will probably be a cagey affair, a narrow home win is on the cards.
Chelsea FC win: 2.15
Manchester United win: 3.90