Chelsea face Man United this afternoon in a fixture that could go a long way to deciding who will finish in the top four. A win for the Blues could essentially condemn United into playing Europa League football next term.
N’Golo Kante is a major doubt after picking up a rib injury in the 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday.
One positive is the blues have defender Antonio Rudiger back available for selection after missing the last couple of games with a knee injury.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is out for at least three months with an Achilles injury, with Willian set to come into the lineup on the right wing.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3)
Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson; Barkley, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Pedro, Hazard, Willian
In recent games against top 6 opposition Sarri has used Eden Hazard in a false-nine role and may do so this afternoon at the expense of Gonzalo Higuain.
View from the dugout
“It’s a very important match… We will try to win of course, but we need not to lose.
“We have to play against opponents with a very high level of motivation after the Manchester derby.
“They have a chance of the top four. Of course they need to win all the last three matches. But we need to gain points too. We need to fight and try in every way.”
- Chelsea have won more Premier League games against United than any other side have in the competition (18).
- Chelsea have lost their last six Premier League away games against fellow ‘big six’ sides, including all four this season by an aggregate score of 1-13. Indeed, they’re winless in eight such games (D2 L6) since beating Tottenham 2-1 at Wembley in August 2017.
- Chelsea haven’t gone three Premier League games without a win since September 2016. Following that previous run, the Blues went on a 13-game winning streak in the competition.
- Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante has scored nine goals in all competitions in his four seasons in England, with Manchester United the only side he’s scored more than once against (2).
- Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 10 of Chelsea’s 23 Premier League away league goals this season (5 goals, 5 assists), double that of any other player at the club (Ross Barkley 5).
- Chelsea’s six Premier League wins at Old Trafford have come under six different managers (Glenn Hoddle, Ruud Gullit, Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez), with five of those victories being the manager’s first such game at the ground with the Blues.
Provided by Opta
Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea
Plenty is on the line this afternoon and both teams come into this game in not particularly good form.
United’s performances in recent weeks have been sub par, having picked up just one win in their last six Premier League matches, while Chelsea have lost five of their last seven matches on the road – without even scoring a goal.
The match really could go either way.