Chelsea are hoping to retain their spot at the top of the Premier League table as they take on Manchester United on Sunday. It is set to be one of the most anticipated games of November, with the league leaders hoping to continue their brilliant start to the campaign. They are full of confidence as well, having beaten Juventus 4-0 in midweek while seeing off Leicester City 3-0 last weekend – making them the undisputed favourites.
For their opponent, Manchester United, it will be the first Premier League game without Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian was sacked after a 4-1 defeat to Watford last weekend. United have been linked with Ralf Rangnick, for the job of interim manager, but with the move yet to be finalised, they will once again be led by Michael Carrick on the touchline.
Thomas Tuchel has no reason whatsoever to tinker with the 3-4-2-1 setup that has served him brilliantly this season. The three-man backline gives him the added solidity and balance in defence while allowing them more security in possession. With Romelu Lukaku still not fit enough to start, Tuchel could once again opt for a free-flowing frontline, with the attackers often interchanging positions.
Michael Carrick deployed a hopeful 4-2-3-1 in his maiden game in charge of Manchester United. It is hard to predict whether the former midfielder will change to a three-man backline in order to mirror Chelsea’s 3-4-2-1 this weekend. But we are expecting a conventional setup, with Carrick hoping to create numerical superiority in the final third by deploying four attackers.
Chelsea were dealt with a massive blow in midweek as left-back Ben Chilwell picked up an ACL knock that may keep him out for at least six weeks. N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are also unlikely to feature in this game while Romelu Lukaku is only fit for bench duty. However, the Belgian may make his return, as he looks to make an impression against his former team.
Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane remain guaranteed absentees for Manchester United heading into this game. A host of their players are doubtful to feature this weekend as well, including Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Fred. While we do expect Shaw to make his recovery, Jadon Sancho is likely to continue on the flanks ahead of Greenwood.
Chelsea: Mendy; Christensen, Silva, Rudiger; James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Havertz
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo
Chelsea 2-0 Manchester United
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