Reece James and Antonio Rudiger should start but Romelu Lukaku will be on the bench on his return to Old Trafford when Chelsea face Manchester United.

Chelsea will be aiming to strengthen their grip on the third place in the Premier League standings when they face off against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Chelsea have been handed a couple of fresh boosts on the team news front ahead of the game as Reece James, and Antonio Rudiger are back in training and could be involved at Old Trafford. Andreas Christensen is also close to returning, but Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic remain sidelined.

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“Kova will still be out, Ben Chilwell will be out, and Callum will still be out,” confirmed manager Thomas Tuchel in his pre-match presser. “Toni Rudiger was in training yesterday, the same for Reece James. Hopefully, they can do the full training today and give us a green light. We have hopes they can be in the squad and play tomorrow.

“It’s the same for Andreas. We will need another examination because he felt sick. He will come back to the training ground today. Ross Barkley is sick as well and will not be in the squad.”

With James and Rudiger back in contention, they are expected to walk right back into the starting XI against Manchester United. Rudiger will line up alongside Thiago Silva and Trevoh Chalobah in the three-man backline for Chelsea. Reece James should occupy his natural right wing-back role, with Marcos Alonso the obvious choice on the left. Edouard Mendy will guard the goal for the Blues.

Moving into the middle of the park, Jorginho, who missed a crucial penalty against West Ham United over the weekend, could be axed from the starting lineup. Instead, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and N’Golo Kante should form the midfield partnership for Chelsea, looking to put their Manchester United counterparts under pressure and forcing mistakes high up the pitch.

Mason Mount is a certain starter in the No. 10 role from where he will look to stitch play in the final third of the pitch. Timo Werner and Kai Havertz should again operate as the two-pronged strikeforce. Former Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku will remain on the bench on his return to Old Trafford but could get some minutes later in the game.

Chelsea Predicted XI: Mendy, Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger, James, Loftus-Cheek, Kante, Alonso, Mount, Havertz, Werner.

4 Responses to “Predicted Chelsea lineup against Manchester United: James, Rudiger return; Lukaku on the bench”

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  1. Don’t think yo are going to win because you wont you stinkers Chelsea!!!!

  2. Dickens Jinamoja says:

    Thaz waaaaw,,

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