Two of the biggest clubs in the land lock horns this Sunday when Chelsea play hosts to rivals Manchester United on Matchday 13 of the 2021/22 Premier League.

Chelsea will be aiming to consolidate their position at the top of the Premier League table when they lock horns with an under-pressure Manchester United side at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea have made a blistering start to the new season and are sitting pretty at the summit of the standings, with 29 points from 12 games (W9 D2 L1). The Blues have the best defensive record in the competition, while in recent weeks, they have also started to show the cutting edge in attack, having beaten Leicester City 3-0 last weekend before battering Juventus 4-0 in the Champions League earlier this week.

With the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City not very far behind, Chelsea will need to keep on racking up the wins to maintain their grip on the top spot. Standing in their way on their quest to a victory will be a beleaguered Manchester United side, who are in a state of disarray, having lost five of their last seven league matches.

This poor run, coupled with the hammering at the hands of Watford last week, spelt the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time as manager. Former midfielder Michael Carrick has taken charge as a caretaker for the time being, even as the club are working to appoint Ralf Rangnick as the interim boss till the end of the season.

Carrick, who took charge of his first game in midweek, led Manchester United to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Villarreal in the Champions League, helping the team qualify for the next round. He and his team will hope to draw confidence from that display, but up against a Chelsea in rampant form, they will be in for a much sterner challenge.

Ahead of this exciting blockbuster clash coming our way from Stamford Bridge on Sunday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Chelsea

Chelsea have been handed a fresh injury setback as in-form left-back Ben Chilwell has been sidelined for at least six weeks with an ACL injury. In addition to that, N’Golo Kante is also a major doubt for the contest after picking up a knee injury in the midweek clash, while Mateo Kovacic remains unavailable. However, Romelu Lukaku could be set for a return to action when his former club come visiting.

Thomas Tuchel is unlikely to make any major tweaks to his tactics or choice of personnel for the big game on Sunday. Chelsea will line up in their usual 3-4-2-1 formation in front of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

While Trevoh Chalobah has been in fine nick of late, a game of this magnitude could call for someone experienced like Cesar Azpilicueta to start. He ought to pair up alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger at the back. In-form star Reece James is a shoo-in at right wing-back, while Marcos Alonso is expected to step into the side in place of Chilwell on the left.

With Kante likely to miss out, Ruben Loftus-Cheek becomes the obvious pick to partner Jorginho in the middle of the park. The former’s ability to drive forward powerfully with the ball at his feet could cause problems to Manchester United, who have shown themselves to have a soft underbelly.

Mason Mount ought to return to the starting XI against the Mancunian outfit after being left on the bench in midweek. He will take up one of the attacking midfield slots, with Callum Hudson-Odoi likely to partner him. With Kai Havertz struggling with a minor knock, Timo Werner could get a rare start as the No. 9 for Chelsea.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1):ย Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Werner

Manchester United

Manchester United will be without their captain Harry Maguire, who is ruled out because of suspension, while Luke Shaw could miss out again after suffering a head injury last week. The French duo of Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane continues to be unavailable for selection due to injuries, while Mason Greenwood is sidelined due to coronavirus. Edinson Cavani and Fred are also injury doubts for the visitors.

Caretaker manager Michael Carrick set the team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in midweek against Villarreal and is likely to stick with a similar system when they take on Chelsea. David de Gea is the undisputed starter in goal, while Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof become automatic picks at the heart of the defence in the absence of Varane and Maguire.

With Shaw likely to be unavailable, Alex Telles should start at left-back, where he will have his task cut out against Reece James, who has been in deadly form recently. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the obvious choice at right-back.

Scott McTominay should hold on to his spot in the middle of the park while Fred could be risked on Sunday given the importance of the game. The duo will form the pivot structure in midfield while Bruno Fernandes returns to the lineup in the No. 10 role after being overlooked in favour of Donny van de Beek in midweek.

Jadon Sancho, who scored his first goal for Manchester United against Villarreal, should hold on to his spot on the right flank while Marcus Rashford is a certainty on the left. There is no looking past Cristiano Ronaldo in the No. 9 slot, with Anthony Martial likely to provide cover from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1):ย de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo

Key Stats

  • Chelsea are winless in their past seven Premier League games against Manchester United – their longest such run since a 10-game streak between 1938 and 1950.
  • Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four Premier League meetings with Chelsea.ย 
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their 12 Premier League matches this season. They have conceded just four goals so far during this run. Another clean sheet on Sunday would ensure they equal their own record of fewest goals let in after 13 top-flight games.
  • Manchester United are undefeated in their last 11 Premier League away fixtures in London (W7 D4). They have won each of their previous three such contests in a row.
  • Manchester United have lost five of their last seven Premier League matches (W1 D1). No team has collected fewer points in that time. They have shipped in 17 goals during this run, more than any other side in the competition.

Player to Watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

Another special landmark awaits the Portuguese maverick on Sunday. Should he find the back of the net at Stamford Bridge, it will be Ronaldo’s 800th (!) goal for club and country. However, he will be coming up against the best defence in the league who will make life hard for the veteran forward.

Furthermore, Ronaldo does not enjoy the best of records against Chelsea, having failed to score in his ten league appearances against the west London giants. Indeed, the Blues are the side he has faced the most without scoring against in the top-flight, a record that he will be intent on setting straight when the two teams meet this weekend.

Prediction

Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United

Manchester United have not lost on their previous five trips to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, but that looks certain to change this weekend. While they put in a hard shift in midweek to return to winning ways, the Red Devils are nowhere near their best. In contrast, Chelsea are like a well-oiled machine under Thomas Tuchel and have put in two masterful displays against Leicester City and Juventus over the last week.

With Manchester United also set to be without their first-choice centre-back pairing, Chelsea could put them to the sword on Sunday if they play the way they did in the midweek. Although the visitors might show some fight to pull one goal back, it is likely to be an easy victory for the Premier League leaders at Stamford Bridge.

34 Responses to “Chelsea vs Manchester United Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Team News, Tactics & Key Stats”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Sir John says:

    Chelsea will win man United 3___0

  2. stanley says:

    Manunited will win 2 _ 1

  3. Jayden Lewis says:

    Chelsea will win the match

  4. Jayden Lewis says:

    Chelsea will win the match 3-1 Manchester United

  5. lyttlle lyter says:

    Chelsea will win 4_0

  6. Kigozi says:

    Chelsea win 3 on 0

  7. Tarkpor Wanpue says:

    Chelsea 4: Man u 0

  8. Moses says:

    Chelsea 3 Man U 1

  9. Agent misairi says:

    Man u 1_0

  10. Samwel ekal says:

    chelsea will win the match 5-0

  11. Morning Sex says:

    Chelsea 2: United 0

  12. Jamesson says:

    Chelsea 1..United 2

  13. Ndengeyinka athanase says:

    Chelsea win 2-0

  14. Christian says:

    Chelsea 1st half 2-0 full time 5-1

  15. Chelsea will win because the well they’re playing this time around is on stop able, I know the don’t like Scoring much but at least 3_0 or 4_1 will be the scores

  16. Kamugisha Henry Collins says:

    Chelse will win the match without any difficulty if man united desplays poor performance as shown in their past match angainst watford. Chelsea 4~0Manchester united

  17. Paul says:

    Chelsea 3:1 man u

  18. GMATTHEW says:

    Chelsea 1 Vs 2 Man U

  19. Eyong Obla says:

    Chelsea v manchester united 3-1

  20. Onuche says:

    Chelsea will win 5—-2

  21. Victor belca says:

    Chelsea 2:2 man u

  22. Isamot Yusuf says:

    Chelsea 3 man u 1

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