Preview: Manchester United needs to return to winning ways against Chelsea but is it an impossible dream?

Manchester United -v- Chelsea

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 28 April 2019; KO 16:30 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Manchester United will be back to the drawing board at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon when they face Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea in the Premier League. United has endured seven defeats in the last nine matches, not being the same side who beat Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital at the start of March.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have seen some improvement in his squad against Manchester City, at least for the first half of Wednesday’s match but he will not be happy overall as the media are just waiting in the wings to turn on him as they have with every manager since Sir Alex Ferguson. Returning to winning ways is important to be able to move on.

United still have the chance of finishing in the top four this season, although if they fail to beat Chelsea, it will, in effect, all be over. There are three Premier League matches remaining this season and United need to start finding a route to form, which seems to be more of a wish than something that will actually happen.

Form: United are in dire form and in need of an end to the season to find a path and a direction; Chelsea has one defeat in last six matches

Manchester United: LLLWLL

Manchester City 2-0 L, Everton 4-0 L, Barcelona 3-0 L, West Ham United 2-1 W, Barcelona 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L

United need this season to be over quickly. The next three matches cannot be over quick enough. This summer, there is a massive rebuilding job needed at the club, in terms of building a squad and hierarchical changes, if United is to prevail. Five defeats in the last six matches, winning once; 13 goals conceded; three scored. Not good enough.

Chelsea: DWLWWW

Burnley 2-2 D, Slavia Prague 4-3 W, Liverpool 2-0 L, Slavia Prague 1-0 W, West Ham United 2-0 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W

Chelsea, despite their inability to take chances and cement a place in the top four, in much better form than United at this stage of the season. Four wins, one draw and one defeat in their last six matches. 12 goals scored, seven conceded, and three clean sheets show that Chelsea, at least on paper, will be in the driving seat going into this match.

Top Scorers: United’s players seem to have forgotten how to score goals; four hours and 40 minutes since their last goal. Not good enough and massive improvement needed

Manchester United: 16 – Paul Pogba, 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 13 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

Chelsea: 19 – Eden Hazard, 12 – Olivier Giroud, 11 – Pedro, 9 – Álvaro Morata, 8 – Willian, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 5 – Ross Barkley, Callum Hudson-Odoi, N’Golo Kanté, 4 – Gonzalo Higuaín, 3 – Marcos Alonso, 2 – Jorginho, David Luiz, 1 – César Azpilicueta, Cesc Fàbregas, Emerson, Antonio Rüdiger

Team News: Solskjaer has four players on the sidelines whereas Sarri has six players out through injury. United need to find a way out of this mess though

Solskjaer currently has four players on the sidelines through injury; Antonio Valencia (muscle), Eric Bailly (concussion), Phil Jones (knock), and Ander Herrera (hamstring). Injuries are the least of United’s worries though after seven defeats in the last nine matches. It is now time to forget finishing in the top four and fins a way out of this mess.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has six players on the sidelines through injury, only one of them, N’Golo Kante (rib) could have a chance of facing United. Marco van Ginkel (ACL), Ethan Ampadu (back), Antonio Rudiger (knee), Marcos Alonso (Gluteal), and Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles) seem to be ruled out of the match at the Theatre of Dreams.

Predicted Starting XI: Youth needs to be given a chance but with the U23s and U18 playing on Friday and Saturday, we may be stuck with the same shit/different day scenario once again!

Something needs to give for United. The players did not turn up against Everton and only played well in the first half against Manchester City. This half-arsed nature of these players cannot continue. The supporters of the club owe them nothing, however, the other way around, the supporters are owed a lot from these millionaires.

In order to find the right fit, many of these players need to be benched or made to sit in the stands. When you get one player talking about the fact he’s going to emerge as a leader, then that does not happen, it makes you wonder if that particular player wants to be at this club. A clean slate in the summer, clear the deadwood and rebuild. Give the youth a chance.

Match Prediction: I expect United to win when they play but expectations mean nothing, especially when the players at the club have regressed so much they don’t even look the part!

United and Chelsea have played 182 competitive matches. United has won the most matches with 78 victories, drawing 50 and losing 54. United won this fixture 2-1 last season, and draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, winning 2-0 in the Emirates FA Cup in February. Restoring faith by the supporters is necessary as United need the victory in this match.

Manchester United 1-0 Chelsea

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copyright: JW

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