Manchester United vs Chelsea will be one of the star matches of gameweek 6 of the Premier League 2020/21.
Both teams will face off in different moods, since underdogs United surprised PSG again at Parc des Princes on the opening day of the Champions League’s group stage.
Mason Greenwood could return after being left out of the last two squads, while Harry Maguire is doubtful. In contrast, Jesse Lingard won’t be available and Paul Pogba could see himself start on the bench.
As for the visitors, Frank Lampard will be able to choose among his players with almost no restrictions: Chelsea just have Billy Gimour and Kepa Arrizabálaga as the only absentees.
Edinson Cavani, who was left at home for the match against his former team PSG, could make his debut with the Red Devils considering that Anthony Martial will serve the second game of his three-game ban following his red card against Spurs.
Man United have won both their Premier League matches on the road this season, but there has not been a home win in domestic competitions at Old Trafford for four games. Their two top-flight fixtures there have produced an aggregate score of 2-9.
Whats seems pretty sure is that Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford will be in line for the XI. The Portuguese midfielder was on the scoresheet again midweek to make it 16 goals and 11 assists for the club, while the English striker was, again, the hero in Paris for the Red Devils. He has also scored four goals in his last three games against the Blues.
The regular Saturday evening slot has delivered mixed results for the Blues over the past 18 months. Last season, wins at Burnley and Watford were followed by three straight losses at Manchester City, Newcastle and Sheffield United. The 3-3 humdinger at the Hawthorns last month was Chelsea’s first 5.30pm kick of the new season (though there is an argument the boys in Blue only started playing around an hour later, in the comeback).
They were very fortunate to escape Brighton with three points, whilst the losses to both Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford were as woeful as each other. However, the win at PSG in midweek was arguably the most impressive showing under Solskjaer so far, in which United finally looked to be nearing full sharpness. You’d seriously back the hosts to enter Saturday’s game full of confidence.
The Red Devils have scored 28 goals with the ex-Spain international in the side, compared to 83 without – an average of 1.6 and 1.8 respectively. United’s win percentage also drops slightly with Mata in the starting line-up, from 53.3 per cent without him in the XI to 44.4 per cent with him involved. Delve deeper into the numbers, however, and Mata’s impact becomes clear.
Chelsea head up to Cottonopolis in eighth place, while the hosts are 15th. Admittedly, they have played one game fewer than most, but so have Aston Villa and they go into the weekend second.