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Preview: Manchester United seeking three wins in three matches against Chelsea this season? Stamford Bridge hoodoo gone?

Chelsea -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Stamford Bridge, London

Monday 17 February 2020, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Anthony Taylor Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell 

VAR: Chris Kavanagh Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis

Manchester United will travel to Stamford Bridge to face Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have beaten Chelsea twice already this season; a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford in the Premier League at the start of the season and a 2-1 Carabao Cup victory at Stamford Bridge, which has turned United’s fortunes at the stadium around.

United will have had just over two weeks break from their last match, a 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League. Solskjaer will know that he needs to get his team working in the right direction to fight for a place in the top four this season, which is the easier route to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. The other route will be by winning the UEFA Europa League, which could be difficult.

Form: Chelsea are the team in better form, losing once in their last six matches compared to United’s two defeats. However, United have beaten Chelsea twice already this season.

Manchester United: DWWLLW

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D, Manchester City 1-0 W, Tranmere Rovers 6-0 W, Burnley 2-0 L, Liverpool 2-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W

Chelsea: DWDLWW

Leicester City 2-2 D, Hull City 2-1 W, Arsenal 2-2 D, Newcastle United 1-0 L, Burnley 3-0 W, Nottingham Forest 2-0 W

Top Scorers: United need to find a way to score more goals, keep the momentum moving forward, not regressing at all between now and the end of the season. Can they though?

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 10 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 2 – Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United need to start moving forward, rather than taking one step forward and two steps backwards. The January signings; Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo will be an improvement, especially in an attacking sense as the Portuguese midfielder knows how to score and assist the goals. Ighalo has the ability to find the back of the net also, which is something United desperately need having their top scorer, Marcus Rashford, on the sidelines through injury for at least two months.

Chelsea Goals: 15 – Tammy Abraham, 7 – Jorginho, 6 – Christian Pulisic, Michy Batshuayi, 5 – Mason Mount, William, 4 – César Azpilicueta, 3 – Callum Hudson-Odoi, N’Golo Kanté, 2 – Ross Barkley, Reece James, Mateo Kovačić, Antonio Rüdiger, Fikayo Tomori, 1 – Marcos Alonso, Olivier Giroud, Pedro, Kurt Zouma

Chelsea are not the team they once were, despite keeping a place in the top four of the Premier League at this stage of the season. They are in better form than United, losing once, drawing twice and winning three times in their last six matches. United have the same amount of wins, one draw and two losses. However, Solskjaer’s side has beaten Lampard’s Chelsea twice already this season and have a good recent record at Stamford Bridge.

Team News: Fernandes and Ighalo to find the key to scoring goals against Chelsea after winter training break? Rashford, Pogba, McTominay, Tuanzebe, Grant, and Fosu-Mensah sidelined?

United look set to be without Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, Lee Grant and Tim Fosu-Mensah for the visit to Stamford Bridge – although McTominay, Tuanzebe and Fosu-Mensah all travelled to Spain for winter training, the match might come too soon for them. Grant need surgery so will be out for a few months at least.

Nemanja Matic will be back after his suspension for his two yellow cards against Manchester City, missing the Wolves match. January signings Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo will be involved against Chelsea, the former looking to make his second appearance for the club, the latter seeking to make his debut to strengthen United’s forward options.

Chelsea look set to remain without Marco van Ginkel but Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic could recover in time to play a part against United as the London club seek to maintain their place in the top four of the Premier League with United just six points adrift of Lampard’s side. Solskjaer has beaten Lampard twice already this season.

Predicted Starting XI: 4-3-3 formation with Fernandes feeding Martial to bang in the goals against Chelsea?

Solskjaer may not be better off after the winter training break unless the likes of McTominay and Tuanzebe are fit to be in contention against Chelsea. Tim Fosu-Mensah would be good to have back too, although I have left them all out of this predicted team at this moment in time. I think Anthony Martial will start as the main striker with Daniel James on the left and Mason Greenwood on the right with Bruno Fernandes just behind Martial, feeding the attack.

Match Prediction: United are unbeaten against Chelsea in the last five matches in all competitions. The last defeat was in the FA Cup final in 2018, before that in November 2017. Stamford Bridge hoodoo gone?

United and Chelsea have played a total of 185 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1905. United have won 80 times, drawn 51 times and lost 54 times. In the past five matches, in all competitions, United are unbeaten against Chelsea, winning three times and drawing twice. Stamford Bridge has been a tough place for United to visit, but in their last three United have won twice and drawn once.

The last defeat against Chelsea came at Wembley in the Emirates FA Cup final on the 19 May 2018, a 1-0 defeat with Phil Jones giving away a penalty and Eden Hazard scoring from the spot. The last defeat before them came at Stamford Bridge on the 5 November 2017 – a 1-0 defeat with former Chelsea striker Álvaro Morata scoring the only goal of the game. United will be seeking to keep their recent good record against Chelsea.

Chelsea 1-2 Manchester United

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