With Manchester City vs Arsenal meeting in the Carabao Cup final instead of league as initially planned this weekend, Manchester United vs Chelsea becomes this weekend’s headline act in the Premier League.
Chelsea are currently fighting for a Champions League alongside Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool won yesterday so if Tottenham win their lunchtime games the Blues know that a win here will drag Man Utd right back into the top four battle.
Jose Mourinho will be missing midfielder, Ander Herrera after the Mexican aggravated a muscle injury in Wednesday’s draw at Sevilla.
Eric Bailly could return from an ankle injury that he picked up after facing Chelsea in November.
Marouane Fellaini (knee), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee) and Daley Blind (malleolar) are all ruled out.
Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are expected to not feature after picking up knocks.
Chelsea have no new injury concerns but are missing; David Luiz (ankle), Tiemoue Bakayoko (knock) and Ross Barkley (hamstring).
Since losing 1-2 to Manchester City in early December, United have taken 11 points from a possible 15 at Old Trafford (W3 D2).
They have also managed four clean sheets in that run, scoring eight and conceding just two.
Chelsea stuttered through a packed January with just five points from four games but were unbeaten away from home.
The last three league matches however have proven difficult with two defeats before beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at home.
From 13 league matches on the road so far, the Blues have lost on three occasions including on their last trip away to Watford.
- Manchester United only win in last 14 clashes in this fixture came at home last season.
- From six meetings with Chelsea as manager of opposition, Mourinho has won and lost three.
- Chelsea has been under four Italian managers in the Premier League era and they managed a (W2 D2 L4) record from eight trips between them to Old Trafford. Only Roberto Di Matteo failed to visit Man Utd’s ground during his reign.
- Two of those managers (Claudio Ranieri & Carlo Ancelotti) bowed out in seasons where Chelsea made the trip to Old Trafford on 8th May.
- The last four meetings have seen the home team win without conceding a single goal.
Where game be won and lost?
|Per game average||Manchester United (home)||Chelsea (away)|
|Shots on Target||5.62||5.08|
|Goals in First Half %||34.5||48|
|Goals in Second Half %||65.5||52|
^Stats can be found at Footstats.co.uk
Attack seems evenly matched with Chelsea being that bit more clinical, if look at gap between Shots and Goals averages for both teams.
Defensively, the visitors look stronger with less fouls but don’t have as many corners.
The goal per half average stats are interesting because Man Utd appear to save their goals more for second half.
Chelsea meanwhile appear consistent with ability to score in both halves, rather than having most of their goals coming from one half than the other.
I reckon that this match will be a slow burner given the struggles of both teams form wise lately.
In end, I can see a draw here because both teams have solid attacks that cancel one another out.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea
Jake predicts: Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea
Result: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea