Premier League high-flyers Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league when they take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. The Blues managed a 2-2 draw against 3rd place Leicester City last time out, and remain nine points behind the Foxes with a game in hand. Frank Lampard’s side have won just two home league games since the start of December, and have suffered terribly because of this concerning stat.
Their next challenge comes in the form of Manchester United, a team that are themselves in a pretty sticky situation. In ninth and behind the Blues by six points, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to cut that gap down on the night. The Red Devils have already beaten Chelsea twice this season, with Lampard’s record against the Manchester club reading one goal scored and six conceded.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic are both close to making returns to the side, but surely won’t be available for this fixture against United. Marco Van Ginkel’s long-standing ACL injury will keep him out of the picture for a while as well. Despite all this, the biggest concern for Lampard will be Tammy Abraham’s fitness. The gaffer confirmed that the Englishman is a doubt for the tie, but considering the intensity of the fixture, it’s unlikely that he’ll miss out.
4-2-3-1 Predicted Chelsea Lineup Vs Manchester United
Frank Lampard made the drastic decision to bench Kepa Arrizabalaga last time out against Leicester City and gave Willy Caballero a rare Premier League start. The Spanish shot-stopper is expected to make his return to the side for this crunch fixture against top-four rivals Manchester United. In front of him, expect to see German international Antonio Rudiger continuing in the heart of the defence, alongside Danish youngster Andreas Christensen. Reece James should return to the right-back role, meaning that Cesar Azpilicueta could be forced out to the left.
For all the good work that Mateo Kovacic has done in a Chelsea shirt since the start of the season, his playing time in the league has reduced considerably in recent weeks. That trend is set to continue, with Lampard expected to opt for a two-man midfield consisting of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho. While the Frenchman provides the required defensive cover, the Italian pass-master has the ability to split teams open with his balls forward.
Another player who was dropped from the starting lineup against the Foxes was Brazilian speedster Willian. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man should make his return to the side for this fixture, with Spanish veteran Pedro expected to drop to the bench. Callum Hudson-Odoi could continue down the right flank, hence opening up the number ten slot to Lampard’s attacking-midfield apprentice Mason Mount. Expect Tammy Abraham to get over his ankle niggle in time to start for this huge encounter as well.
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