On Sunday, viewers of the Premier League will be treated to a grand spectacle, as Manchester United will take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. To add to the importance of the fixture are the positions of the two giants in the table.
A victory for Chelsea will keep alive some hope of retaining their crown. On the other hand, if the Red Devils secure the three points, they will keep the pressure on first placed Manchester City on in their own bid to win the title they’ve boasted of from decades.
The Blues have mainly a bad form to worry about. On Tuesday they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Roma in the Champions League. Therefore, this upcoming encounter could mean that many first team regulars would be fatigued, and doubting their own form as well.
In terms of injury woes, Conte has hinted at a possible return for N’Golo Kante. The key midfielder has been out of action for several weeks due to injury, but has been training with the side for one week now. The former Leicester man could have started against Roma, but the Italian boss chose to rest him.
It is highly likely that Kante will replace Fabregas on Sunday, and that the press conference remark is more for the benefit of the doubt for Jose Mourinho than for the fans. Apart from that Conte, will look to field the same team as the one on Tuesday, which despite the defeat, is arguably the London side’s best eleven.
Defenders: Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Rudiger
Midfielders: Alonso, Bakayoko, Kante, Azpilicueta
Forwards: Hazard, Morata, Pedro
As for Jose Mourinho’s men, fate has been more of an indication for their form than actual performances. Ever since their awful 0-0 display against Liverpool, the team has been lacking in the brilliance they displayed at the start of the season.
In terms of injury returns, Marouane Fellaini might make a full recovery and be a part of the starting eleven in place of Ander Herrera. This is of paramount importance, as the Belgian was arguably the side’s best midfielder following Paul Pogba’s injury.
Upfront, Romelu Lukaku has been facing a scoring drought for six games now. Despite this, there is no alternative for the striker, owing to Zlatan Ibrahimović’s recovery. However, the big man is still a reliable source of goals, and will be looking to end his dry spell.
Meanwhile, it is highly likely that Rashford will be given the starting spot, as Martial’s success is best when he comes on from the bench.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
Defenders: Bailly, Smalling, Jones
Midfielders: Young, Fellaini, Matic, Valencia
Forwards: Rashford, Lukaku, Mkhitaryan
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.