Manchester United -v- Chelsea
Old Trafford, Manchester
Thursday 28 April 2022, KO 19:45 GMT
Referee: Mike Dean – Assistants: Ian Hussin, Darren Cann
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: John Brooks – Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood
Manchester United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening. This match was to be played in May but the same weekend Chelsea will go head to head with Liverpool to contact the Emirates FA Cup, so the match was brought forward.
United have been a disaster in their last three matches, seeing Norwich City give them a hard time, although they won 3-2, Liverpool running riot in a 4-0 victory at Anfield and Arsenal beating them 3-1 at the Emirates. United’s players need to start working hard to make some changes.
With Erik ten Hag already announced as the new manager this summer, this squad will need to start showing their abilities otherwise there will be so many sour faces this summer with players cast out in the cold because of their poor displays of so-called professionalism.
Ralf Rangnick will be blames, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes all were. Granted, many of the players have changed in those eras but the downing of tools has continued. Tough love will change this mentality and the players will need to buck up their ideas.
Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LLWLDL
Arsenal 3-1 L, Liverpool 4-0 L, Norwich City 3-2 W, Everton 1-0 L, Leicester City 1-1 D, Atletico Madrid 1-0 L
Goals: 22 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 6 – Mason Greenwood, 5 – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, 4 – Fred, 3 – Anthony Elanga, 2 – Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, 1 – Own Goal, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek
Assists: 14 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Fred, Luke Shaw, 3 – Nemanja Matić, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Alex Telles, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Victor Lindelöf, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Elanga, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay, Raphaël Varane
Chelsea – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WLWWWL
West Ham United 1-0 W, Arsenal 4-2 L, Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Real Madrid 3-2 W, Southampton 6-0 W, Real Madrid 3-1 L
Goals: 13 – Kai Havertz, 12 – Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount, 11 – Timo Werner, 9 – Jorginho, 7 – Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, 6 – Reece James, 5 – Antonio Rüdiger, 4 – Trevoh Chalobah, 3 – Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Thiago Silva, 2 – Andreas Christensen, N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic, 1 – Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Saúl Ñíguez
Assists: 15 – Mason Mount, 7 – Reece James, 6 – Mateo Kovacic, Timo Werner, 5 – Marcos Alonso, Callum Hudson-Odoi, N’Golo Kanté, Hakim Ziyech, 4 – Jorginho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 3 – César Azpilicueta, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, 1 – Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Andreas Christensen, Own Goal, Lewis Hall, Antonio Rüdiger, Thiago Silva
Previous meetings with Chelsea and their connections with United.
United and Chelsea have met 59 times in the Premier League. United have won 17 times, drawn 24 times with Chelsea winning 18 times. United have scored 73 goals, winning five penalties, scoring four. Chelsea have scored 72 goals, winning three penalties, scoring all of them.
United have kept 16 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 19. Discipline has been an issue with United players receiving 133 yellow cards and four red cards and Chelsea players being shown 139 yellow cards and six red cards. United have failed this season; time to blood in youth?
Radamel Falcao, Juan Sebastian Veron, Mark Bosnich, Mark Hughes, Paul Parker, George Graham, Mal Donaghy and the late Ray Wilkins, a player both sets of supporters will hold immense respect for, have also featured for both clubs in the past.
Nemanja Matić and Juan Mata currently play for United and have played for Chelsea. Romelu Lukaku has also played for both clubs, starting out at Chelsea, signing for United from Everton and after a period at Inter Milan, he re-signed for Chelsea last summer.
Team News: Cavani, Pogba and Shaw out for United, Fred could return; Chilwell, Hudson-Odoi and Kovacić out for Chelsea with Christensen, James and Rüdiger could return.
Manchester United: Edinson Cavani (Calf), Paul Pogba (Calf) and Luke Shaw (Leg) have all been ruled out for the foreseeable future. Fred (Hip) has a 50% chance of featuring against Chelsea, which gives him a good chance of returning ahead of the Brentford match on Monday.
Chelsea: Ben Chilwell (Knee), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Calf/Shin/Heel) and Mateo Kovacić (Ankle) have all been ruled out of the trip to face United. Andreas Christensen (Illness) and Reece James (Other) both have 50% chances of playing whilst Antonio Rüdiger (Groin/Hip/Pelvic ) has a 75% chance.
Predicted Starting XI: Ronaldo, Sancho, Elanga, Fernandes, Hannibal, McTominay, Fernández, Maguire, Varane, Dalot and De Gea to start against Chelsea – youth on the bench too?
Rangnick will need to pick a squad that has everything that it takes to get a result against Chelsea but in recent months, there are not a lot of players who could do that based on the results that have come with United looking to miss out on UEFA Champions League football again.
As the U23s do not play until the 1 May, it is possible that the German manager could full the squad with youth, giving them a chance to shine ahead of a possible selection next summer, with at least six first team players seeing their contracts expire this summer.
I would expect to see David De Gea in goal again. I cannot see that changing. In the centre of defence, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire will probably start. In the fullback positions, Diogo Dalot starting on the right with academy player Álvaro Fernández on the left could be good to see.
In the midfield, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes could play in the two-man midfield with Jadon Sancho, Hannibal Mejbri and Anthony Elanga in the attacking positions playing behind Cristiano Ronaldo. It is time to start letting some players say goodbye the hard way.
Match Prediction: United are unbeaten against Chelsea in the last eight Premier League matches, winning three and drawing five. It is now time to stand up and be counted.
United are undefeated against Chelsea in their last eight Premier League matches, winning three times and drawing five times. The last victory over Chelsea came on the 17 February 2020 at Stamford Bridge as United won 2-0.
The last three matches have all resulted in draws, two 0-0 draws and one 1-1 draw. Back on the 21 November 2021 at Stamford Bridge, United opened the scoring in the 50th minute of the match with Jadon Sancho scoring the goal. Chelsea won a 69th minute penalty which Jorginho scored.
The fact that United really has turned their form around against Chelsea, making it hard for them to win, that needs to continue as United look to end the season on a high and allow Ten Hag to have a better overview of his squad so he can start to bring in new players and rid the club of the weak.
That might sound bag but it is something that should have been done many years ago but the Glazers gave a man with very little football knowledge the keys to run the club and he spent lots of money, bringing in the wrong type of players, many of who were there for the money.
Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea
Written by John Walker