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Ratings: De Gea and Shaw the better players in Chelsea draw; James did well in attack as both United and Chelsea fail to score

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Both teams matched each other evenly with United the team to be disappointed from the match which now sees Manchester City 12 points clear at the top of the table with United a point better off than third placed Leicester City, who lost to Arsenal earlier in the day. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be happy with the point but not with the fact that they failed to score, which is starting to become a worry at this stage of the season. United will face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening before the Manchester derby at the Etihad next Sunday, which will see Pep Guardiola rubbing his hands with joy based on United’s current goalscoring form.

Chelsea started the match well with Mason Mount showing his ability on the ball, getting it forward and pestering United at the back, which is obviously the weak spot in the squad this season. United made a block on an attack which saw Hakim Ziyech play a pass into Mount, between Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka but United managed to nullify the attack. Chelsea won a corner a few minutes later but that came to nothing. United won a free-kick in the 13th minute with Bruno Fernandes gating half a sight on goal before Mount got into the way. Marcus Rashford forced a save from Eduoard Mendy a minute later, bending his effort over the wall. David De Gea then made a save at the other end following a Mateo Kovacic shot on goal.

There was a possible penalty decision with VAR deliberating after Callum Hudson-Odoi seemingly handled the ball inn his penalty area with Mason Greenwood on the hunt for the ball. After the referee ws made to look at the screen, nothing was given as the ball might have touched Greenwood’s arm too, making it an unfair penalty if it was given, which is fair enough. United did not seem to appeal for the penalty, which suggests there was nothing in it anyway. United then got caught upfield with Mount finding Hudson-Odoi on the right before exchanging passes with Cesar Azpilicueta, firing a bouncing ball from the edge of the box, which was far wide of the target, luckily for United, who needed to up their game.

United then started to find the ball more and get upfield with it, which is the way Solskjaer will have ordered them to play ahead of kick-off. Chelsea’s press was a problem for United though and they would need to find a way to break through and find a goal, otherwise a tactical Chelsea side could steal a victory with United’s defence the weakest area on the pitch at this time. In the 36th minute, Chelsea came close to getting something after Antonio Rudiger pinged a lovely ball over to the right, finding Hudson-Odoi who was hugging the touchline. He delivered a cross into the box for Olivier Giroud, who stretched to get the ball after Lindelof lost him but he did not get a touch on the ball and another Chelsea attack came to nothing.

In the 41st minute of the match, N’Golo Kante got himself into a tangle with Fred as Chelsea were upping the tempo of the match again. With possession in United’s favour, Chelsea failed to clear their lines and a Fernandes shot was deflected behind for a corner, which was better than their last but still cleared by Azpilicueta to deny United anything from the match so far. Towards the end of the half, there was slick passing from both teams with Lindelof playing a route one ball, which nearly tore open Chelsea, then nodded from Fernandes to Rashford before Kante nipped in and put the ball out for another corner, which United failed to get the benefit of. Two minutes were added on at the end of the first half with the scores still 0-0 at the break.

At the start of the second half, Chelsea made their first substitution with Hudson-Odoi being replaced by Reece James after United had found a way though the defence in the first half, now seemingly with Tuchel looking to thwart that. However, after seeking the substituted player on the sidelines, he seemed to be carrying an injury towards the end of the first half, which is the reason for the substitution. In the 50th minute of the match, Fred became the first player to be booked after he fouled Mount from behind. United then started to get into the game, showing some good play on the attack to get a chance around the 60 minute mark, which was denied by Mendy. Ben Chilwell was then shown a yellow card a minute or so later, becoming Chelsea’s first booking.

In the 65th minute of the match, Chelsea made their second substitution with Olivier Giroud being replaced by Christian Pulisic with United still not looking like making any changes, which seems a little late with more inspiration needed to break down this Chelsea side who were doing all they needed to stop United at this point, not that United have been attacking them for long spells of the match. Both teams for nullifying each other so far, which is a fair match but both teams need to find a winner in this match to start to work towards the end game of the season which is to secure top four and UEFA Champions League football. Fred had a good chance in the 68th minute, shooting with his right foot, which was wide of the target, unfortunately for him and United.

In the 78th minute, after a good period of play for United, Chelsea made their third substitution with Timo Werner replacing Ziyech. United made their first substitution with Anthony Martial replacing Greenwood in the 79th minute. United had a good chance late in the game with Scott McTominay breaking forward with Daniel James, Rashford and Martial, playing the ball into the box, a Chelsea defender stopping the cross and James recovering the ball. He ran to the left, tried to play Luke Shaw forward but he didn’t want to be caught offside, letting the ball go out of play. Chelsea then got on the attack, trying to find a winner from this stalemate with three added minutes at the end of the half. United overcame late pressure with the match ending 0-0.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Kept a clean sheet, making a few goos saved to deny Chelsea. His distribution was good and he will be happy with a positive result against a team that could have overpowered United.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Good passing of the ball and recovered the ball well at times. Completed most of his passes in the final third of the pitch. Created one chance and did what he needed to do in defence.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Chelsea looked at him as the weak link in the squad, however got little against him. Had the best passing in the team and successful passed the ball five times out of six in the attacking third. Made three clearances, one block and won his only aerial duel in the match.

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5 Harry Maguire

Giroud got the better of him for Hudson-Odoi's cross which could have led to a Chelsea goal. His passing was great with him succeeding with eight out of ten in the attacking third of the pitch. Made five clearances, four of them headed and won his one aerial duel. Good defending and will be pleased with the clean sheet but United should have scored. Booked in the second half.

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23 Luke Shaw

Played well in the left-back role, which was good to see. His passing requires some improvement but he did create three chances in open play, succeeded with one take on out of two but failed with every cross he played, which is a shame. Won three of three tackles, got one interception and one block. Did what he needed to do in defence, getting the better of Chelsea most of the time.

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39 Scott McTominay

Not match fit but good to see him back. Had two attempts on goal; one on target and blocked. His distribution was good but could have been better - not to his usual standards. Created one chance and could have inspired an attack late in the game, which saw United rising forward but failing to register a shot with the ball going out of play.

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17 Fred

Had two chances ons goal; one on target and one off target. Should have perhaps found the back of the net. Good passing succeeding with 12 out of 18 in the attacking third of the pitch. He was dispossessed three times and recovered the ball eight times. He was booked and needed to keep his head from there.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Had two shots on goal; one off target and one blocked. His passing was good and he attempted one take on and succeeded. His was dispossessed four times, which is where improvement is needed. It was a good game for him to lead the line and a shame he did not score. He was replaced by Martial in the 79th minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Not in form at this moment in time, perhaps needing a rest but stubbornness taking heed? Had two attempts on goal, both were blocked. His passing was a but wayward and he only created on chance. He's the clubs top scorer but needs to find his form again as he is the guy that can change United from a good team to a great one, however, he should not be expected to do that all by himself.

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21 Daniel James

Used his pace well. Had one chance on goal, which was blocked. His passing was mediocre but he seemed to do well in the attacking half of the pitch. Some will slate him but he is doing what he needs to do on the pitch.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Should have opened the scoring for United early in the first half but his shot was saved. Seemed livelier in the second half but also seemed frustrated as things did not go United's way. He had to attempts, both on target but not scored. He was a good passer of the ball and created two chances. He will be frustrated with himself.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Greenwood 79'. Lame once again. Came on and offered little, created nothing and had one successful pass, which is not good enough. He needs to be dropped completely, once Cavani is fit again.

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Goals: N/A

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood (Martial 79′), Fernandes, James; Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Matic, Van de Beek

Bookings: Ben Chilwell 62′; Fred 50′, Harry Maguire 79′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Rashford, Greenwood, Fernandes and James start against Chelsea, Diallo and Van de Beek on the bench

Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Premier League this afternoon. It will be a big match for United, who will face Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea for the first time this season, having drawn with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Old Trafford earlier in the season. United’s form at the Bridge is better than it has been, undefeated in the last four visits with three wins, one draw, eight goals scored, three conceded and two clean sheets. United qualified for the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on Thursday evening and were drawn against AC Milan and will a few weeks break from European competition, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to improve their position in the league this season with many tough matches ahead of them.

United gave Shola Shoretire his debut in the Europa League on Thursday, making him the youngest player to represent United on the European stage, which is a big thing considering the talent that has played for the club at a similar age during the course of history. At this moment in time, United are second in the Premier League table level on points with Leicester City but with a better goal difference. United face Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League earlier this season with the club then managed by Thomas Tuchel. Solskjaer’s side got the better of Tuchel’s side in the first match of the group stage, winning 2-1 with Bruno Fernandes scoring a penalty and Marcus Rashford scoring the winner after an Anthony Martial own goal.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Greenwood, Fernandes, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial

Chelsea:

Mendy;

Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudger;

Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Kovacic, Chilwell;

Ziyech, Mount;

Giroud

Substitutes:

Arrizabalaga; Alonso, Zouma, James, Emerson; Jorginho, Pulisic, Havertz; Werner

United and Chelsea have met a total of 57 times in the history of the Premier League with this being the 58th meeting between the two sides who have both been in the top tier of English football since the Premier League was created. United have won 17 times with Chelsea winning 18 times, the two clubs drawing 22 times. United have scored 72 goals with Chelsea scoring 71. United have won five penalties, scoring four of them with Chelsea winning two and scoring both of them. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 18. United players have received 126 yellow cards and four red cards with Chelsea players receiving 136 yellow cards and six red cards. This will be an important match for both clubs.

Last season, United beat Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge; 2-1 in the Carabao Cup which saw Marcus Rashford score a brace, including one penalty and Michy Batshuayi scoring a consolation. United also won 2-0 in the Premier League with Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scoring the goals. United are undefeated at Stamford Bridge in their last four visits, winning three times and drawing once. The last defeat at Stamford Bridge was in the Premier League, a 1-0 scoreline on the 5 November 2018. This could be something that affects Chelsea, who have been less than a force in the meetings since. Earlier this season, when managed by Lampard, United and Chelsea drew 0-0 at Old Trafford, which was a poor result considering those prior.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood to show their stuff against Chelsea; Diallo to continue his rise to the first team?

Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It will be a big match for United, who will face Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea for the first time this season, having drawn with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Old Trafford earlier in the season. United’s form at the Bridge is better than it has been, undefeated in the last four visits with three wins, one draw, eight goals scored, three conceded and two clean sheets. United qualified for the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on Thursday evening and were drawn against AC Milan and will a few weeks break from European competition, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to improve their position in the league this season with many tough matches ahead of them.

United gave Shola Shoretire his debut in the Europa League on Thursday, making him the youngest player to represent United on the European stage, which is a big thing considering the talent that has played for the club at a similar age during the course of history. At this moment in time, United are second in the Premier League table level on points with Leicester City but with a better goal difference. Leicester face Arsenal in a noon kick-off on Sunday so could put some pressure in United ahead of their kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are currently fifth, six points adrift of United. Manchester City top the table, ten points clear of United level on matches played and they face West Ham United, who are currently fourth in the table.

How United have faired against Chelsea in the Premier League.

United and Chelsea have met a total of 57 times in the history of the Premier League with this being the 58th meeting between the two sides who have both been in the top tier of English football since the Premier League was created. United have won 17 times with Chelsea winning 18 times, the two clubs drawing 22 times. United have scored 72 goals with Chelsea scoring 71. United have won five penalties, scoring four of them with Chelsea winning two and scoring both of them. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 18. United players have received 126 yellow cards and four red cards with Chelsea players receiving 136 yellow cards and six red cards. This will be an important match for both clubs.

Last season, United beat Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge; 2-1 in the Carabao Cup which saw Marcus Rashford score a brace, including one penalty and Michy Batshuayi scoring a consolation. United also won 2-0 in the Premier League with Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scoring the goals. United are undefeated at Stamford Bridge in their last four visits, winning three times and drawing once. The last defeat at Stamford Bridge was in the Premier League, a 1-0 scoreline on the 5 November 2018. This could be something that affects Chelsea, who have been less than a force in the meetings since. Earlier this season, when managed by Lampard, United and Chelsea drew 0-0 at Old Trafford, which was a poor result considering those prior.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has Dean Henderson looking to take his spot this season after making 13 appearances so far this season, keeping eight clean sheets. De Gea has 28 appearances and nine clean sheets in all competitions, so based on appearance and clean sheet data alone, Henderson is the better goalkeeper, statistically, this season. I liked the way Henderson commanded his area against Real Sociedad, which is something that De Gea does not do and perhaps should. I feel that Henderson has more to give at United as De Gea’s form has been terrible at times. I had a bad feeling ahead of last season’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea with De Gea dropping a clanger. Henderson conceded five goals to Chelsea at Sheffield United last season, De Gea conceded two.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence found some form against Real Sociedad on Thursday night but the Spanish side were not really testing them. Eric Bailly had a good game and perhaps he could do the same again if he started against Chelsea. Harry Maguire will most likely be back in the starting XI too. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played 45 minutes on Thursday and will start against at Stamford Bridge with Luke Shaw, who was rested during the week, taking his left-back place. United have some good players in the defence but they need to start shutting out the opposition players as if United are to win a league title, the defence is what will help to achieve that, as Sir Alex Ferguson once said “attack wins you games and defence wins you titles”. He got it right so many times.

Midfield: Fred, Scott McTominay

Scott McTominay needs to be fit for this match and if that is the case, ensuring that he was ready by keeping him out of the dead rubber against Real Sociedad on Thursday night will be a master stroke. McTominay and Fred play very well in the pivot role. although there will be some of the more negative supporters that will not agree, but you cannot really argue with the fact that it has largely worked for both of them this season. McTominay has seven goals and one assist to his name this season with Fred yet to score a single goal, although he does have an assist. With Paul Pogba out of action for a longer period of time, it is the best that could be, although Solskjaer will need to bring in Donny van de Beek at some point, giving him more game time.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

Just inn these three players alone, there are 44 goals and 29 assists so far this season, which is the majority of the goals for United. Bruno Fernandes has 22 goals and 13 assists to his name, Marcus Rashford has 18 goals and 11 assists with Mason Greenwood having four goals and five assists. Both Fernandes and Rashford have continued their form from last season, having some periods where they were not scoring or creating but when you compare their performance data with Martial, he has been left behind, which is a worrying sign for him and United. Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire could add something late in the game, if needed with United up for continuing their form at Stamford Bridge and continuing their away form this season, which is impeccable.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

After scoring seven goals and two assists so far this season and missing the last three matches, Edinson Cavani needs to be starting for United again, should he be fit. The Uruguayan is the best forward at the club this season after Anthony Martial has continue his flop season which seems like he is not going to find any form, or at least figure it out that he’s long out of form. It is a worrying sign that so many people seem to praise the Frenchman despite him not really doing much this season, compared to the last. Cavani has the ability to unlock the defence, find some good positions and create space for other attackers. His headers are sublime also – perhaps one is coming up this weekend, if he plays?

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Amad Diallo, Donny van de Beek, Shola Shoretire; Anthony Martial

With nine substitutes to choose from, Solskjaer will have some choices, providing at least three of the injured players are back in contention, with two of them predicted to start in this match. Dean Henderson will be con the bench after his clean sheet against Real Sociedad on Thursday evening. In defence, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe, who could provide midfield cover too, will be available. In midfield, Amad Diallo, Donny van de Beek and Shola Shoretire could provide some good options against Chelsea with Anthony Martial as the only attacking player on the bench, despite his poor form this season. Solskjaer will be seeking a result in this match, but Chelsea will be seeking the same.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United need a result against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge – unbeaten in four visits. Cavani, Rashford, Fernandes and Greenwood to start?

Chelsea -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Stamford Bridge, London

Sunday 28 February 2021, KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Stuart Attwell Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Simon Long

Fourth Official: Andre Marriner

VAR: Chris Kavanagh Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis

Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. It will be a big match for United, who will face Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea for the first time this season, having drawn with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Old Trafford earlier in the season. United’s form at the Bridge is better than it has been, undefeated in the last four visits with three wins, one draw, eight goals scored, three conceded and two clean sheets. United qualified for the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on Thursday evening and were drawn against AC Milan and will a few weeks break from European competition, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be seeking to improve their position in the league this season with many tough matches ahead of them.

United gave Shola Shoretire his debut in the Europa League on Thursday, making him the youngest player to represent United on the European stage, which is a big thing considering the talent that has played for the club at a similar age during the course of history. At this moment in time, United are second in the Premier League table level on points with Leicester City but with a better goal difference. Leicester face Arsenal in a noon kick-off on Sunday so could put some pressure in United ahead of their kick-off at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are currently fifth, six points adrift of United. Manchester City top the table, ten points clear of United level on matches played and they face West Ham United, who are currently fourth in the table.

Manchester United: DWWDWD

Real Sociedad 0-0 D, Newcastle United 3-1 W, Real Sociedad 4-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D, West Ham United 1-0 W, Everton 3-3 D

Chelsea: WDWWWW

Atletico Madrid 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Barnsley 1-0 W, Sheffield United 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes has scored 22 goals this season with Marcus Rashford on 18. Tammy Abraham is Chelsea’s top goal scorer with 12 goals, Olivier Giroud has 10 to his name.

Manchester United Goals: 22 – Bruno Fernandes, 18 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 5 – Daniel James, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Donny van de Beek

In their last six matches, Solskjaer’s United are undefeated with three wins and three draws. United have scored a total of 12 goals, conceding five and keeping three clean sheets. Granted, it is in the past month with all the draws that has seen Manchester City climb to the top of the table and open up a ten point lead. However, some see negativity in this but this is the best season United have had in the league post Sir Alex Ferguson as they have shown some major improvement, which has led the negative supporters of the club to change the goalposts and suggest that it is the manager of the club that is the problem once again. How many times have we heard that now and how many more times will it be said?

Chelsea Goals: 12 – Tammy Abraham, 11 – Olivier Giroud, 10 – Timo Werner, 6 – Jorginho, 5 – Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, 4 – Kurt Zouma, 2 – Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech, 1 – Marcos Alonso, César Azpilicueta, Ross Barkley, Reece James

Chelsea have underachieved in the Premier League this season and Frank Lampard was one of the major reasons that has happened. Thomas Tuchel seems to have got his team firing once again but the honeymoon period will soon be over and the real Chelsea could stand back up, meaning the manager will have a massive task on his hands. I don’t think the summer signings have done as well as the Chelsea fans had expected and many of them still need to do a lot more to even think about catching the tails of Bruno Fernandes. In the last six matches, Chelsea are undefeated with five wins and one draw, scoring eight goals, conceding two and keeping four clean sheets. This will be a big match for Chelsea which could help them break into the top four again.

Team News: Chelsea have one injury with United seemingly sweating on four players with two also ruled out of the clash.

Phil Jones (knee), Paul Pogba (thigh) and Juan Mata (other) have been ruled out of the clash with Chelsea through injury. Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay have all missed the last few matches through muscular problems with McTominay coming off after an hour in the first leg against Real Sociedad. Daniel James is now a doubt after having to come off in the second leg against Real Sociedad with a muscular injury. It is a shame that United have so many concerns in the squad at this stage of the season and hopefully, Cavani, McTominay and Van de Beek will be back in contention for this important match with many more upcoming in the next few weeks. Solskjaer may have some problems if players are not close to returning.

Thiago Silva (muscular) is the only injury concern for new Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel. This will be the third time that United will be pitted against a Tuchel side this season after facing Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League group stage, beating them in the first match which was played in Paris but losing in the second at Old Trafford. Tuchel seems to have Chelsea playing a much better brand of football than hie predecessor, Frank Lampard, which will see United have problems against the club. United’s recent record at Stamford Bridge is good with United winning three and drawing once in their last four visits to the stadium. Chelsea will be seeking to make their home their fortress once again.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford tasked with beating Chelsea? Scott McTominay and Fred inn midfield? Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire to partner in central defence?

Solskjaer will make some changes from the team which drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad on Thursday night, earning a round of 16 place in the UEFA Europa League setting up a tie with Italian giants, AC Milan. David De Gea will return in goal against Thomas Tuchel’s side and he will be expected to put in a good performance, possibly tasked with keeping a clean sheet against the Blues. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw will complete the defence. In midfield, Fred and Scott McTominay will play in the pivot with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood playing behind Edinson Cavani. The likes of Donny van de Beek, Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire could all come of the bench to add something.

Match Prediction: 57 matches played in the Premier League; United have won 17, drawn 22 and lost 18 times.

United and Chelsea have met a total of 57 times in the history of the Premier League with this being the 58th meeting between the two sides who have both been in the top tier of English football since the Premier League was created. United have won 17 times with Chelsea winning 18 times, the two clubs drawing 22 times. United have scored 72 goals with Chelsea scoring 71. United have won five penalties, scoring four of them with Chelsea winning two and scoring both of them. United have kept 15 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 18. United players have received 126 yellow cards and four red cards with Chelsea players receiving 136 yellow cards and six red cards. This will be an important match for both clubs.

Last season, United beat Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge; 2-1 in the Carabao Cup which saw Marcus Rashford score a brace, including one penalty and Michy Batshuayi scoring a consolation. United also won 2-0 in the Premier League with Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire scoring the goals. United are undefeated at Stamford Bridge in their last four visits, winning three times and drawing once. The last defeat at Stamford Bridge was in the Premier League, a 1-0 scoreline on the 5 November 2018. This could be something that affects Chelsea, who have been less than a force in the meetings since. Earlier this season, when managed by Lampard, United and Chelsea drew 0-0 at Old Trafford, which was a poor result considering those prior.

Chelsea 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Player Ratings: Rashford, Lindelof and Cavani did well against Chelsea in 0-0 draw; Chelsea were there for the taking – clean sheet and not a defeat are the positives

Manchester United drew 0-0 with Chelsea at Old Trafford in the Premier League. It was a better result for Frank Lampard than it was for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and perhaps it will be seen as a defensive display for both teams who will be happy to keep clean sheets. Chelsea hardly pressured United to go in front and United had a fair few chances to win the match. Edinson Cavani made his Premier League debut and almost scored with his first touch, having another chance late in the match after Mason Greenwood played a good ball into him. It was not a defeat, as have been the case in the last two matches at Old Trafford, which is the main positive to take here.

It was a pretty even start to the match for both United and Chelsea. At times, Lampard’s side looked under pressure and seemed to play behind the ball which is not the same of the Chelsea teams of the past and a worrying warning sign for Lampard and the club, but that is their problem at the end of the day. Christian Pulisic had the first chance in the 18th minute of the match with a right-footed shot from outside the box. Harry Maguire had a chance, from a header, in the 25th minute but it was blocked. Scott McTominay also came close for United in the 29th minute with a right-footed shot from outside of the box.

Bruno Fernandes had an opportunity to put United ahead in the 31st minute of the match, shooting with his right foot from outside the box forcing a save from Edouard Mendy. Pulisic then had two chances in as many minutes, one of them saved by David De Gea the other blocked. Marcus Rashford, one of the two top scorers at the club so far this season, forced a save from Mendy and then the Chelsea goalkeeper made a poor error to give away another corner, which United failed to capitalise from. Luke Shaw was the first player to be booked, seeing a yellow card in the 39th minute for a foul on Reece James.

Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Juan Mata could have put United into the lead in the 41st minute of the match with a left-footed shot from just outside the box, which was saved at the bottom left corner by Mendy. McTominay then had a chance a minute later with a header from right in the centre of the box, which did not hit the target after a corner taken by Mata. Kai Havertz was the second player booked in the match, in added time at the end of the half. United had seven shots in the first half; three of those were on target. Chelsea had three shots; one of those on target. The second half would need to be so much better for both teams.

With a start to the second half similar to the first 45 minutes, Solskjaer made his first change, a double substitution in the 58th minute of the match with Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani, making his United debut, replacing Mata and James. Almost immediately, Cavani nearly put United ahead with his first touch of the match after Fernandes took the corner short to Shaw before getting the ball back and putting it into the area for Cavani to work his magic with. Sadly it was not an immediate spark of magic from his first touch in a United shirt. I am sure there will be more to come from the Uruguayan, who seems hungry to continue his career at United.

United would needed to become more clinical in the latter stages of the second half with the match thill there for the taking. Chelsea were getting forward more after bringing on Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount for Timo Werner and Havertz but still there were a team that seemed a long way from the team they once were. United had another chance just before the 80th minute with Pogba lacking conviction with his effort. Chelsea then made their third change with Hakim Ziyech coming on for Pulisic. United then on Mason Greenwood for McTominay in the 83rd minute. He played in a good pass to Cavani, which was missed by Rashford’s effort was the best chance to win the match, which was saved by Mendy.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Not really tested against Chelsea. Made a save in fir first half to deny Chelsea but aside of that, the away side were not really pressuring United much if at all.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Defensively, he was in the zone against Chelsea. Chilwell was probably the biggest threat on his side but he did what he needed to do a lot of the time. He seems to have found his form again and has a renewed sense of confidence after scoring his first goal last weekend and playing well against PSG.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Seemed to do well but that was probably down to the fact that Chelsea did not pile much pressure on him and the rest of the United defence. That said, more recently he's been more confident in himself which might be starting to see him enter a period of form, which with Tuanzebe on the hunt for a starting place might come at a good time.

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5 Harry Maguire

It was good to see the captain back against Chelsea after missing the victory over PSG with an injury. There was some controversy again with a possible penalty which Chelsea moaned about but was not given.

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23 Luke Shaw

I understand by Telles did not start ahead of Shaw and that it will start to happen soon. Shaw did well at times against Chelsea but going forward, he was not really a threat. Against PSG, Telles showed so much promise going forward and his set-pieces and crossing of the ball were both top notch.

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39 Scott McTominay

Continuing his form from the victory over PSG on Tuesday, McTominay looked up for this match. He had a coupled of good chances in the first half of the match but nothing seemed to come through for him. In the second half, United threw on Pogba and Cavani to help United's attack, which seemed to improve. Seemed to struggle late in the match, especially after a challenge which seems to have done some damage. He was replaced by Greenwood in the 83rd minute of the match.

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17 Fred

Dealt with the pressures in the midfield well. His marking is a good attribute to have. Matic would have offered more defensive surety but he could tire quite quickly.

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8 Juan Mata

Had a good match against his former club and it was good to see him start again. In his recent appearances, he has two goals and two assists but he was unable to add to that against Chelsea. He was replaced by Pogba in the 58th minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Tried to get it to work for United against Chelsea and after a few chances in the first half, his liveliness seemed to wane in the match. I am sure he will be annoyed with himself and unhappy with the result, which was not a defeat so an improvement at home.

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21 Daniel James

Perhaps needs to go back to the drawing board in terms of how he's going to step up his stature at the Old Trafford club. He looked so lively in this fixture last season, scoring a goal on his debut. Today though, his pace was visible but aside of that, he struggled. He was replaced by Cavani in the 58th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Had a good impact in the match against Chelsea and had a fair few chances to get United ahead. His last chance late in the game could have won it for United by Mendy made a good save to deny him.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Mata 58'. Seemed to add something to the match but when he had a chance on goal, he lacked conviction.

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7 Edinson Cavani

Replaced James 58'. Almost scored in his first minute on the pitch with his first touch of the ball.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced McTominay 83'. Came on to possibly add something for United going forward. His impact was not what it could have been. He did play a good ball into Cavani which was blocked but that was it really.

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Goals:

Assists:

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay (Greenwood 83′), Fred; Mata (Pogba 58′), Fernandes, James (Cavani 58′); Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Tuanzebe; Matic, Van de Beek

Bookings: Luke Shaw 39′, Fred 47′, Marcus Rashford 76′; Kai Havertz 45+1′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Rashford leads the attack against Chelsea; Pogba, Van de Beek and Cavani on the bench

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action this evening when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side welcomes Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to Old Trafford. United have played twice at the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League so far this season, losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace in their first match of the season and 6-1 to Tottenham Hotspur almost three weeks ago. United responded to that defeat to Spurs with a 4-1 away win over Newcastle United, also returning to the UEFA Champions League in style with a 2-1 victory over French champions and finalists of the competition last season; Paris Saint-Germain. A great win for United.

United will be seeking to get their first home win of the season, which would see United (currently having six points) rise above Chelsea (currently having eight points). It would also better their league position, although that could change before the last matches are played on Monday evening. Chelsea, however, are seeking to go four matches without defeat and based on their current form, will be in need of a victory, not that Lampard will face any of the same kind of criticism that Solskjaer has faced already this season. United, will also be looking to beat Chelsea three times in a row in the Premier League, winning both matches, home and away last season.

Marcus Rashford scored a brace in this fixture last season and considering the fact he’s scored four goals already this season, including the winner against PSG on Tuesday, he could become the first United player to scored two goals (or more) in back to back home matches against Chelsea, which will be something he would be aiming for. If Edinson Cavani is passed fit to face Chelsea, making his Premier League debut, he could become United’s second oldest debutant scorer at 33 years and 253 days after Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored his debut goal against Bournemouth on the 14 August 2016 aged 34 years and 316 days.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

Mata, Fernandes, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Tuanzebe; Pogba, Matic, Van de Beek; Cavani, Greenwood

Chelsea:

Mendy;

Azpilicueta, Silva, Zouma;

James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell;

Havertz, Pulisic;

Werner

Substitutes:

Caballero; Rudiger; Kovacic, Mount, Ziyech; Abraham, Giroud

United have met Chelsea 56 times in the Premier League. United have won 17 times with Chelsea winning 18 times with 21 matches being drawn. United have scored 72 goals, whilst Chelsea have scored 71 goals. United won five penalties, scoring four (80%) with Chelsea winning two scoring two (100%). United have kept 14 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 17. Discipline: United’s players have been shown a total of 123 yellow cards with four United players being sent off. Chelsea’s players have been shown a total of 135 yellow cards with five players being sent off. It all seems pretty even at this stage with United seeking to keep their recent record.

Last season, United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford at the start of the Premier League season in a 4-0 thriller with Marcus Rashford scoring a brace (18′ penalty and 67′), and both Anthony Martial and Daniel James scoring a goal each. At Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, United were also victorious over Frank Lampard’s side in a 2-0 thriller which saw both Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire score the goals with United young the double over Chelsea in the league for the first time in a good few years. United met Chelsea four times last season, winning 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup (Rashford brace) but losing 3-1 in the FA Cup semi-final.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani; Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood lead the attack against Chelsea? Telles and Tuanzebe keep their places?

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday evening when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side welcomes Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to Old Trafford. United have played twice at the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League so far this season, losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace in their first match of the season and 6-1 to Tottenham Hotspur almost three weeks ago. United responded to that defeat to Spurs with a 4-1 away win over Newcastle United, also returning to the UEFA Champions League in style with a 2-1 victory over French champions and finalists of the competition last season; Paris Saint-Germain. A great win for United.

United will be seeking to get their first home win of the season, which would see United (currently having six points) rise above Chelsea (currently having eight points). It would also better their league position, although that could change before the last matches are played on Monday evening. Chelsea, however, are seeking to go four matches without defeat and based on their current form, will be in need of a victory, not that Lampard will face any of the same kind of criticism that Solskjaer has faced already this season. United, will also be looking to beat Chelsea three times in a row in the Premier League, winning both matches, home and away last season.

Marcus Rashford scored a brace in this fixture last season and considering the fact he’s scored four goals already this season, including the winner against PSG on Tuesday, he could become the first United player to scored two goals (or more) in back to back home matches against Chelsea, which will be something he would be aiming for. If Edinson Cavani is passed fit to face Chelsea, making his Premier League debut, he could become United’s second oldest debutant scorer at 33 years and 253 days after Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored his debut goal against Bournemouth on the 14 August 2016 aged 34 years and 316 days.

How United have faired against Chelsea in the Premier League.

United have met Chelsea 56 times in the Premier League. United have won 17 times with Chelsea winning 18 times with 21 matches being drawn. United have scored 72 goals, whilst Chelsea have scored 71 goals. United won five penalties, scoring four (80%) with Chelsea winning two scoring two (100%). United have kept 14 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 17. Discipline: United’s players have been shown a total of 123 yellow cards with four United players being sent off. Chelsea’s players have been shown a total of 135 yellow cards with five players being sent off. It all seems pretty even at this stage with United seeking to keep their recent record.

Last season, United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford at the start of the Premier League season in a 4-0 thriller with Marcus Rashford scoring a brace (18′ penalty and 67′), and both Anthony Martial and Daniel James scoring a goal each. At Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, United were also victorious over Frank Lampard’s side in a 2-0 thriller which saw both Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire score the goals with United young the double over Chelsea in the league for the first time in a good few years. United met Chelsea four times last season, winning 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup (Rashford brace) but losing 3-1 in the FA Cup semi-final.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Chelsea in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has shown a lot of improvement in his last two matches as opposed to the match against Spurs. Two goals conceded with United scoring six in those two matches. He performed some great saved at St James’ Park, performing more in Paris at the Parc des Princes, which is a stadium that United have graced twice, winning both times. De Gea has given Dean Henderson a run for his money with his recent performances, which could well be related to how he has fared since the international break. Henderson will be making a push himself and could well feature in the next few weeks, only playing in the Carabao Cup so far this season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles

United’s defence shows so much improvement against PSG on Tuesday evening after both Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire did not travel to the French capital because of injuries. Axel Tuanzebe stepped up after his ten-month injury spell, which puts him in with a chance of featuring against Chelsea this weekend. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played well against both Newcastle, scoring his first goal for the club and PSG, performing well defensively, which puts him in line to keep his place in the team. Victor Lindelof could start in the left side of the defence with Alex Telles, who made his debut against PSG, showing signs of what is missing in the team.

Midfield Two: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

United started with Fred and Scott McTominay against PSG, also having Bruno Fernandes on the pitch in what seemed, at times like a three-man midfield. Solskjaer usually plays a 4-2-3-1 formation, which will leave both Paul Pogba, who should start against Chelsea and McTominay to start with both players doing well against the French side. Pogba has been the recipient of lots of criticism lately but in Paris, he played a part in the victory for United so has earned his place in the team this weekend based on that, which will also allow the likes of Fred and Nemanja Matic to rest this weekend, albeit one or both of them could be on the bench.

Midfield Three: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford

This is where it could become frightening for United. There is a lot of talent at the club who could all play in these positions and it will only get tougher in January when Amad Diallo arrives from Atalanta. Mason Greenwood has received some bad press recently despite the fact Solskjaer confirmed that he had a slight niggle, he could be places back into the team to face Chelsea, if he has done enough in training to impress the manager. If not, his hiatus from the team will be extended. Bruno Fernandes could captain the club again in the absence of Maguire, who missed the PSG victory. Fernandes, like Marcus Rashford, has four goals to his name this season.

Forward: Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan striker did not travel to Paris to fa e his former club earlier this week with him needing to test himself to earn a place in the United squad this season, which is only to be expected as United’s fatigue showed at the start of the season and another player not ready for the rigours of the league would not be wanted in the squad right now, which could also do more damage than good with the player having a bigger chance of injuring himself. He could have proven enough to be in contention to face Chelsea this weekend. Anthony Martial will be missing from two more Premier League matches; Chelsea and Arsenal, so this could be a good time for him.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Luke Shaw; Daniel James, Facundo Pellistri, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek; Odion Ighalo

United could have used up to five substitutes against PSG on Tuesday but only used three – the same number they will be allowed in domestic competitions this season. Dean Henderson will be the second-choice goalkeeper once more with Luke Shaw likely to be the only defender on the bench. In midfield, the experience of Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek and Daniel James plus the raw talent of Facundo Pellistri could work wonders for United, if they need to bring in experience, pace or ability. The only attacking player on the bench will be Odion Ighalo but he is yet to start in the league and that will be much tougher with Cavani at the club.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United looking to turn the screw on Chelsea after big victory over PSG; Cavani to make his debut?

Manchester United -v- Chelsea

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 24 October 2020, KO 17:30 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis

Fourth Official: Jonathan Moss

VAR: Stuart Attwell Assistant VAR: Simon Long

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday evening when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side welcomes Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to Old Trafford. United have played twice at the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League so far this season, losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace in their first match of the season and 6-1 to Tottenham Hotspur almost three weeks ago. United responded to that defeat to Spurs with a 4-1 away win over Newcastle United, also returning to the UEFA Champions League in style with a 2-1 victory over French champions and finalists of the competition last season; Paris Saint-Germain. A great win for United.

United will be seeking to get their first home win of the season, which would see United (currently having six points) rise above Chelsea (currently having eight points). It would also better their league position, although that could change before the last matches are played on Monday evening. Chelsea, however, are seeking to go four matches without defeat and based on their current form, will be in need of a victory, not that Lampard will face any of the same kind of criticism that Solskjaer has faced already this season. United, will also be looking to beat Chelsea three times in a row in the Premier League, winning both matches, home and away last season.

Marcus Rashford scored a brace in this fixture last season and considering the fact he’s scored four goals already this season, including the winner against PSG on Tuesday, he could become the first United player to scored two goals (or more) in back to back home matches against Chelsea, which will be something he would be aiming for. If Edinson Cavani is passed fit to face Chelsea, making his Premier League debut, he could become United’s second oldest debutant scorer at 33 years and 253 days after Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored his debut goal against Bournemouth on the 14 August 2016 aged 34 years and 316 days.

Manchester United: WWLWWW

Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 L, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W, Brighton 3-2 W, Luton Town 3-0 W

Chelsea: DDWLDW

Sevilla 0-0 D, Southampton 3-3 D, Crystal Palace 4-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 (5-4) L, West Bromwich Albion 3-3 D, Barnsley 6-0 W

Top Scorers: 17 goals scored by United, 20 scored by Chelsea this season. Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Kai Havertz lead with four goals each so far…

Manchester United Goals: 4 – Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Juan Mata, 1 – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek, Harry Maguire, Mason Greenwood, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay

United have gone from strength to strength after that 1-6 defeat to Spurs at Old Trafford almost three weeks ago. Back then, United seemed to not be in the zone in terms of fitness or team strength but the last two matches, which were played after the international break, saw United dominate Newcastle and play for the victory, also play a much better tactical match against PSG, winning for the second time in a row at the Parc des Princes. If United can continue to push for the results, they will start to head into the right direction after a terrible start to the season. Solskjaer has a plan and I am confident that he knows which way he is going.

Chelsea Goals: 4 – Kai Havertz, 3 – Jorginho, Timo Werner, 2 – Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma, 1 – Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Olivier Giroud, Reece James, Ross Barkley

Chelsea supporters seem to think that the signings that the club has made this season has turned the club into title contenders, but in reality, that really does not look like the case yet. Lampard should have had a lot worse criticism than Solskjaer this season but because he is English and the fact that he played for Chelsea, before doing the dirty and ending up playing for Manchester City, he seems to escape criticism, which seems so wrong. The draw against Spurs looks like a good result considering United’s defeat against them but the draws against Sevilla (0-0), Southampton (3-3) and West Bromwich Albion (3-3) show Chelsea’s weaknesses for all to see.

Team News: United rocked by injury once again which could see another lineup similar to the one which played against Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the week.

United have six players who could all miss the clash with Chelsea at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday evening; Eric Bailly (muscle), Harry Maguire (buttock), Mason Greenwood (niggle), Jesse Lingard (other), Edinson Cavani (fitness), Anthony Martial (suspended – two matches). There would have been seven but Phil Jones (knee) was not named in the Premier League squad along with Sergio Romero so their futures are both up in the air. Bailly and Martial are both ruled out of the match whereas Cavani has a 75% chance of playing against Chelsea with Greenwood, Maguire and Lingard all having a 50% chance of featuring for the Red Devils.

Chelsea have just one injury heading into the clash with United at Old Trafford; Billy Gilmour (knee). New goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and defender Thiago Silva both played against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening so both could be ready to start against United this weekend, boosting Chelsea’s chances of overcoming their 4-0 defeat in this fixture last season. Hakim Ziyech could also feature for the Blues against United, which could be tricky for United but would also see Ziyech and Donny van de Beek reunite after they both left Ajax this summer. It is sure to be an interesting match after United escapades in Paris.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to make his United debut against Chelsea? Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay to play in midfield? Axel Tuanzebe and Victor Lindelof to start in central midfield? Alex Telles to start at left-back?

Solskjaer has now seen two good results in a row for his club; the 4-1 victory over Newcastle and the 2-1 victory over PSG. United’s confidence will be much higher now than it was after the 1-6 defeat to Spurs almost three weeks ago. Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes and leading in terms of goals scored and both should feature for United. Edinson Cavani could make his United debut after missing the victory over his former club. Alex Telles played well at left-wing-back, so should start in a back four in the left-back position. Axel Tuanzebe did so well against PSG that he should start again, with Victor Lindelof of Harry Maguire is not fit to start.

Match Prediction: 17 wins for United, 18 for Chelsea with 21 draws. Could this be the 18th victory over Chelsea for United this weekend?

United have met Chelsea 56 times in the Premier League. United have won 17 times with Chelsea winning 18 times with 21 matches being drawn. United have scored 72 goals, whilst Chelsea have scored 71 goals. United won five penalties, scoring four (80%) with Chelsea winning two scoring two (100%). United have kept 14 clean sheets with Chelsea keeping 17. Discipline: United’s players have been shown a total of 123 yellow cards with four United players being sent off. Chelsea’s players have been shown a total of 135 yellow cards with five players being sent off. It all seems pretty even at this stage with United seeking to keep their recent record.

Last season, United beat Chelsea at Old Trafford at the start of the Premier League season in a 4-0 thriller with Marcus Rashford scoring a brace (18′ penalty and 67′), and both Anthony Martial and Daniel James scoring a goal each. At Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, United were also victorious over Frank Lampard’s side in a 2-0 thriller which saw both Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire score the goals with United young the double over Chelsea in the league for the first time in a good few years. United met Chelsea four times last season, winning 2-1 in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup (Rashford brace) but losing 3-1 in the FA Cup semi-final.

Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea

Written by John Walker

Sergio Romero wanted by Chelsea, Everton and Leeds United but player could be used as leverage

Chelsea are reportedly plotting a surprise move for Manchester United number two goalkeeper Sergio Romero. For weeks, months even, it has been known that Frank Lampard is not happy with his number one goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and the English manager has been seeking a replacement with Dean Henderson touted, despite the player being contracted at United for two more years, not to mention the fact he is close to signing a new contract at the club.

The Sun has suggested that Romero, 33, could be seeking an exit of the Old Trafford club this summer, after seeing David De Gea make some costly mistakes and not being given a chance to show what he could do, despite the fact we know that he is one of, if not the best second-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League at this moment in time and has been for most of the five years that he has been at United. It would seem that Henderson is returning to United this summer, despite conflicting reports.

If this happens, the 23-year-old will not be sitting there as the third or even fourth-choice goalkeeper and will be seeking to take on both Romero and De Gea with a view of winning the number one shirt at the club. Romero will not be happy in the fact that he could be the third-choice goalkeeper at the club and recently, he has been linked with Leeds United, who won promotion to the Premier League last season. Now Chelsea and even Everton seem to be interested in the player.

According to ESPN, the potential availability of a player like Romero could see the likes of Chelsea, Everton and even Leeds make a move for the Argentinian who could become the number one goalkeeper at all three clubs, given the chance. It would seem likely that this is not going to happen at United, otherwise it would have happened by now with De Gea’s downfall happening over the last two seasons, if not longer. It is suggested that United would be looking for around £5 million for the goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper initially signed a three-year contract in the summer of 2015 when he arrived at the club as a free agent and signed a four year contract in the summer of 2017, which will expire in the summer of 2021, although United have the option of adding a further year onto that contract. Chelsea have also been linked to Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ten Stegen, which is not going to happen and Ajax’s Andre Onana, plus Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster, formerly of United.

It may not end up being Chelsea who sign Romero, but his availability this summer, if both De Gea and Henderson are to battle for the number one shirt, could lead to an exit. One report in The Sun has linked the Argentinian to Aston Villa with United aiming to use the player, according to the reports, as a sweetener to signing Jack Grealish this summer, which is something that I am taking with a pinch of salt. It could well be that Romero will end his United career this summer and aim for a few years playing as the number one goalkeeper.

Written by John Walker

Dean Henderson tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make him number one or sell him

Manchester United academy goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who has been on loan with Sheffield United for the past two season, rising from the Championship and playing well in his first season in the Premier League has reportedly told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to either make him the number one goalkeeper at the club or sell him. The 23-year-old is a good talent but doubts still remain in his ability to become the first choice goalkeeper at the club, possibly done to the pressure rather than ability.

The Sun has reported that the goalkeeper does not want to return to the Old Trafford club this summer to play second fiddle to David De Gea at the club with the Spaniard making some high profile errors which had cost United during the past season and beyond. It is either something that will get better or worse and United will not want to make too hasty a decision. Henderson is the heir to De Gea in terms of becoming the number one goalkeeper at the Theatre of Dreams.

However, this is not something that will happen on his terms. In my mind, if you have done well at another club, which is what Henderson has done on each load spell from Stockport County to Grimsby Town, to Shrewsbury Town to the Blades, the player has risen in stature at each club, rising a division with each spell before reaching the Championship and ultimately the Premier League with the same club. This shows that he has what it takes to succeed.

That said, the player surely cannot expect Solskjaer to permanently drop De Gea, something he did not do after high profile errors which cost the club, and certainly to something that he will do after being told by a 23-year-old to do it. I mean no disrespect there but Henderson is not the manager of the club. What he should be doing is coming back to United as the number two goalkeeper, if Sergio Romero wants to leave the club, them aiming to prove himself at United, rather that being handed the permanent position.

I believe that this will show his drive and determination more, chasing down De Gea to earn the number one shirt himself, which would surely mean more to the player, rather than demanding something and being handed it on a plate. Where is the lesson there. If Solskjaer did this, he would not have the authority to drop the player when he made errors, as they will come, eventually, which would see the manager in a position whereby he has been trumped by a player, weakening his own position.

De Gea signed a new contract last year which sees him as one of the high earners left at the club, leaving Solskjaer in a position whereby his second-choice goalkeeper could be earning more than the number one, which will not be a good position to be in. Chelsea have been known to hold interest in Henderson, seeking a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga, which has been in poor form this season too, similar to De Gea. It is a choice that Solskjaer will find tough, especially if Henderson is sold and does well at another club. However, if he drops De Gea and Henderson falters big time, he will suffer too. He can’t win either way.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW