While a title chase seems unlikely at this point, both Chelsea and Manchester United are in the thick of the Premier League’s top-four battle. The two sides meet on Sunday at Stamford Bridge in the league’s game of the week. The Red Devils are in second place but now 13 points behind leaders Manchester City, while the Blues are in fifth but can jump into the top four with a victory. Chelsea enter this contest as the favorites, looking to continue a good run of form under new manager Thomas Tuchel.
Despite the match not providing the greatest advertisement of the sport to newcomers, a 0-0 draw was a perfect result for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his team rode its 4-0 aggregate lead into the next round of the league where it will face AC Milan. The match against Milan this early in the tournament (round of 16) might be disappointing to neutrals since the second-place teams in both the Premier League and Serie A would’ve made for an exciting Final. Will the match meet the same levels as the two clubs’ famous meetings in the Champions League earlier this millennium? We shan’t wait long to find out.
Recent history may be on the side of Man United with the Red Devils seeking their fourth consecutive victory at Stamford Bridge. But with arrival of Tuchel as manager, the Blues have started a new slate and have looked defensively solid since then. Another low scoring affair, I predict, with Chelsea earning a penalty and Jorginho sending the Blues back into the top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made five changes from the team that lined up against Real Sociedad on Thursday, with David de Gea, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford all returning to the team.
United are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions, but have drawn five of those games within 90 minutes, while Chelsea have enjoyed a renaissance of late under new boss Tuchel.
United line-up: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood.
The Red Devils will feel confident in claiming all three points, as Chelsea have failed to score in their last three matches against United.
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel will hope that his side’s gutsy win in Madrid over the La Liga leaders Atletico can provide the club with the inspiration needed to topple United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team ensured they progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League with a goalless draw at Old Trafford cementing a 4-0 win on aggregate over Real Sociedad.