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Chelsea join the hunt for Penarol wonderkid Facundo Pellistri, Manchester United’s interest reported in the past week

Premier League club Chelsea have apparently joined in the hunt to sign Penarol wonderkid Facundo Pellistri. It is, however, stated that the London club will have a lot of other European clubs to contest in order to win the race to sign the 18-year-old winger. Manchester United’s interest was reported over the past week or so with the club seeking signings.

Along with United, Manchester City, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Feel Madrid hold interest in the Uruguayan. United may have an advantage though being that former striker, Diego Forlan is the Penarol manager, however, he did not only play for United so may help another former club sign the player.

Italian news site Calcio Mercato has reported that Juventus seem to be leading the race for the teenager this summer but Chelsea have emerged as the apparent ‘dark horses’ to sign the young prospect. It is stated that Frank Lampard’s side have shown ‘concrete interest’ in Pellistri that will put them on a ‘collision course’ with Manchester City.

Pellistri is vastly becoming a hot prospect in South America after starring in his homeland, Uruguay, on the wing. He has not yet been capped for his country but he holds a Spanish passport and speaks English fluently. His current contract will last until the summer of 2022 and he has a £10million release clause inserted in it.

It has been suggested by The Athletic that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ask his former teammate, Forlan, for advice on the 18-year-old, presumably thread of the summer transfer window opening later this summer. United, of course, will need to get through the season first, facing Southampton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday.

Solskjaer will be seeking to add some quality to his squad this summer with the club interested in signing Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund, Jack Grealish of Aston Villa, amongst other names that continually seem to be linked to the Old Trafford club. One thing is for sure though, United do need to strengthen this summer in order to take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City to challenge for the Premier League title.

Angel Gomes has an uncertain future at Manchester United with two weeks before contract expiry

Angel Gomes’ Manchester United future is still up in the air with just a fortnight to go before the players contract expires with the Old Trafford club. It has been suggested that the player was wanted by Chelsea, also that United have offered the player a new contract, which so far has not been accepted. The club have not offered a short-term deal either.

In his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit to North London to face Tottenham Hotspur on Friday evening, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that he had no idea wether the 19-year-old will sign his contract offer or leave the club this summer. This is purely down to the player himself and what he decides will be on him.

Gomes has made five appearances for United this season, two in the Premier League and three in the UEFA Europa League and in all fairness, he has not exactly done enough to be a mainstay in the team. It will be much harder for him to cement a regular place with Bruno Fernandes at the club and Paul Pogba returning from injury.

It is suggested that Gomes is reluctant to sign a new contract at the club because of a lack of playing time, but all said and done, if he had done enough to earn that, he would have played more football. He’s shown a lack of readiness for the first team this season and his attitude suggests he should get more playing time, which has not been earned.

Solskjaer would like the teenager to remain at United but will not try to change his mind, should he decide to leave the club. When he has done enough to cement a place in the first team, regularly, he will be offered that. Solskjaer needs players to show they fit in, and if they do, they will stay. Speaking about Gomes, Solskjaer said:

“With Angel, he’s a top kid we’ve had at the club for so many years, we’ve offered him a deal and hopefully he’ll take that and if not I wish him all the best.

“From what I understand it’s not too far away, if not we’ll wish him all the best.”

Angel Gomes on the verge of signing a new Manchester United contract; Chelsea snubbed?

Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes is reportedly close to signing a new contract at the Old Trafford club. The 19-year-old had seemingly been close to the exit door at the Theatre of Dreams in recent weeks with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea the club that had shown a lot of interest in signing the player.

The Athletic has suggested that there is now an agreement in sight which will see the player remain a United player and he is likely to earn £25,000 per week, despite the fact he was apparently offered a £30,000 per week deal some months ago. Playing time was the major issue for Gomes, who has not really lit the world on fire when he has played for the first team.

However, at U23 level, when he has played, he has looked like a player that is too good for that level. I guess it could just be a case of the player getting his feet through to door in the first team and trusted to play a part in the team, which might be the case with five substitutions allowed for each team when the Premier League resumes next week.

This season, Gomes has played just six times for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, failing to score or assist a single goal, playing in the Premier League, the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup. However, playing at U23 level, the 19-year-old has made seven appearances, scoring four goals and two assists, which shows he’s ready to be tested at the next level.

Gomes could find himself in the United squad to face Tottenham Hotspur when the Premier League returns on Friday evening and with all clubs now having more substitutions, just for the remainder of the season, he has a better chance to being involved. I don’t think he will start in this game and might not come off the bench either, if selected.

However, with nine Premier League matches to play this season plus at least one Emirates FA Cup match, more if United beat Norwich City, there are opportunities for the attacking midfielder. There is also the UEFA Europa League to complete, which might see him being involved in some respect. The best way to get more action is to show Solskjaer his ability.

Angel Gomes names three Manchester United idols amid suggestions of him signing a new contract

Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes, who is out of contract at the Old Trafford club this summer, has named three of his icons from the Theatre of Dreams. Not surprising, Cristiano Ronaldo was the first, with Nani the second and Carlos Tevez as the third. All three did their bit at the club and had ability, amongst other things.

Gomes has been tipped with an exit from United this summer, with Chelsea reportedly interested in signing the player, who will be a free agent in July – although the rules surrounding players whose contracts would expire this summer will be changed enabling the players to represent their current club because of the delay to the season.

This could see Gomes remain at the Old Trafford club post-July, therefore giving United more time to convince him to sign a new contract. However, earlier on Monday, there was reported on Twitter that the player had signed a new contract, however, there was no confirmation from the club, which could be forthcoming.

Gomes has the ingredients to become a star in world football and many would prefer that to happen at United, rather than elsewhere, so if he has signed a new contract, it would be good news for the club, also showing the player make a supposed u-turn, if it is, in fact, true. In naming the idols that he has, if he achieved as much as them, he would be a hit.

At United, Ronaldo arrived at the club in the summer of 2003, replacing David Beckham who left the same summer, donning the famous number seven shirt. In six years, he achieved a hell of a lot, making a total of 292 appearances, scoring 118 goals and 69 assists. When he left the club for Real Madrid in an £80 million deal, it was devastating.

Nani arrived at the club in the summer of 2007, two years before Ronaldo departed, never really hitting it off at United but still having some great times at the club, He made a total of 230 appearances, coring 40 goals and 73 assists, which is a good return for a good player, who is now playing in the MLS with Orlando City.

Tevez is a player that many will associate as a villain for where he went to after he left United, which was more down to the Glazers than the player himself. The Argentinian made 99 appearances for United, scoring 34 goals and 14 assists in his two-year stint at the club. He also scored 73 goals and 35 assists at Manchester City, making 148 appearances.

Imagine a player taking on the attributed of all three players, which could be something that Gomes achieves during his career, which could either continue at United or head elsewhere, if the reports of his signing a new contract are not true. Granted, the player has not lit the world alight when playing for the first team but at U23 level, he has been top draw.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping that the player remains at the club and that he does not get disheartened with the number of players at the club are linked to the club. The Norwegian manager is tasked with bringing back the glory days to the club. Gomes could achieve a lot at United, hopefully he realises that and continues his rise to the first team.

Manchester United set to let Angel Gomes leave the club as a free agent; Chelsea boosted – reports

Manchester United are reportedly set to let academy graduate Angel Gomes leave the club as a free agent next month as contract talks reach stalemate, according to reports. It was reported in the past week that United had offered the 19-year-old a take it or leave it offer of £30,000 per week to remain at United, which would also include add-on bonuses.

Gomes will become a free agent on the 30 June 2020, meaning that he would be able to speak to clubs in the United Kingdom to sign as a free agent from the 1 July 2020. Chelsea have been a club that has held an interest in the player for some time, which could be a destination for the attacking midfielder.

United obviously have an interest in keeping the player, but his bit-part role in the first team this season could be stopping him from committing to the club. However, when he has played for the first team, he had hardly put in the performances that would suggest he could be a regular in the team, so this is partly on him.

United would not be eligible to receive a fee for Gomes, should he end up leaving the club as a free agent, however, much like they received when Paul Pogba walked away from the club in the summer of 2012, United, who have had the teenager in their academy for a number of years, would be entitled to compensation if he signs for another club.

It has been reported, albeit by Goal, that the club and the player have reached a stalemate in negotiations, so it is clear that what the club has offered Gomes is not what he wants, so in this instance, the best thing is to let the clock run down, meaning the player will have a big decision on his hands, which could result in him walking away from the club.

This will be a gamble as despite Chelsea being interested in the player, there are no guarantees that he would be instantly promoted to the first team or played regularly. It could be that he plays for Chelsea U23s for the foreseeable future and given chances in the first team. If the same thing happens there, as it has at United, his gamble could be problematic.

Gomes is a talented player and he needs to understand that if he is not seen as a player ready for the rigours of first team football, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unlikely to pick him regularly. Yes, he has put in some semi-decent appearances in the first team but has not scored or assisted a goal in the time he has been given.

He could have perhaps been offered more minutes on the pitch, with United missing the liked of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in midfield for much of the season but the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January seemingly ended his chances of being that creative player in the first team, unless he did more to warrant that chance.

Gomes has played well for the clubs U18, U19 and U23 teams in his relatively short career to date, scoring 34 goals and 25 assists in 91 appearances at those levels. He has played ten times for the first team and has not scored or assisted a single goal. This could suggest that he is not yet ready to be given a starting place at United.

Manchester United make last-ditch offer to Angel Gomes to remain at Old Trafford club – reports

Manchester United have reportedly made a last-ditch offer to renew the contract of Angel Gomes, 19 who has been linked to Chelsea this summer. It is suggested that the Old Trafford club have offered the academy graduate £30,000 a week to remain a Red Devil with his contract set to expire this summer, making him a free agent.

United want to avert the player leaving the club as a free agent in what could be seen as a major embarrassment for the club as Gomes is seen as a star in the making. It is suggested the £30,000 a week offer does not include additional bonus for appearances, goals scored and trophies won, which could be lucrative for the player, if he wants it.

Back in March, Tahith Chong signed a two-year contract extension with United, with the option of a third year being added on. The 20-year-old was himself linked with an exit of the Old Trafford club which caused a lot more speculation. The player clearly saw United as the best club for him to continue his growth at, hopefully Gomes does too.

Gomes is reportedly on £17,000 a week at the moment, despite the fact he has made just six appearances for the senior side this season and has not yet scored or assisted for his club yet. There is still time for all of that though, if he desires to remain at United, a club he has been involved in since he was six-years-old.

Back in December 2017, Gomes, then 17, signed his first professional contract at United. It came a matter of months after he made his debut for the club, replacing Wayne Rooney in the final Premier League match of the 2016/17 season and becoming the youngest player to represent United since Duncan Edwards in 1953. Speaking at the time, Gomes said:

“Manchester United has always been a big part of my life. I have been with the club since the age of six and it was a proud moment for me when I made my first-team debut.

“This club is renowned for giving home grown players opportunities to progress into the first team and that was a major factor in me signing my first professional contract at this great club.

“I am still young but am looking forward to continuing my development with the help of the coaching staff and I will take every opportunity that comes my way.”

At the time of signing his first professional contract, Gomes seemed happy to be at the club and it seemed like a decision like he has now would be an easy one. However, with the fact that United have now seemingly made a last-ditch offer of a new contract, the player is obviously harbouring something which is delaying his decision.

Gomes is yet to win anything at United, although he was named the MVP in the Manchester United Premier Cup back in 2015, which was a youth pre-season tournament. If anything, it shows that he has some ability. Back in 2017, he was part of the England U17 squad which won the FIFA U17 World Cup in India, scoring two goals in the group stages.

The 19-year-old will have some involvement in the remainder of the 2019/20 season, if it does indeed happen but will need to work hard in order to find himself being picked to start matches. He’s an attacking midfielder and has played on the right or through the middle, which are positions occupied by Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, when all are fit.

This could be one of the reasons as to why the player has not yet signed a new contract with the club as his progress is seemingly blocked with the likes of Rashford, Pogba, Fernandes, Scott McTominay, and could be hindered further with new arrivals in the summer. His future is up to him at the end of the day but he will need the fight and desire to break through into the first team to achieve his dream. Nothing is easy.

Review & Ratings: Martial and Maguire score in Chelsea victory; Fernandes is some player – VAR hurts Chelsea with Two goals ruled out

Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side took the lead in the 45th minute through Anthony Martial with Aaron Wan-Bissaka assisting. United doubled their lead in the 66th minute through Harry Maguire with Bruno Fernandes assisting. Chelsea had scored in-between with Kurt Zouma getting a goal back, which was ruled out by VAR. Olivier Giroud scored another, which was ruled out.

United started the game well, trying to play out of their own half. However, Chelsea were all over them seeking to put themselves in the driving seat in the match. Within five minutes, Chelsea had a chance to take first blood after United pressed, lost possession and Willian played the ball into Reece James, who missed the target from 20-yards. United had a corner three minutes later, failing to get anything from the set-piece. United needed to be doing much better.

Chelsea lost N’Golo Kante inside ten minutes to injury, which was a shame for the home side. Eight minutes later, Aaron Wan-Bissaka slipped and Pedro took advantage, keeping the ball on the by-line. The Spaniard tried to pick out Willian but Eric Bailly beat him to the ball to stop the attack. In the 22nd minute, VAR ruled out a red card for Harry Maguire, ruling out violent conduct from the foul. Chelsea had a few more chances in succession, not capitalising from anything so far.

United seemed to be doing everything they could to break Chelsea down but were not getting anywhere. Bruno Fernandes had a shot on goal in the 31st minute which was wide of the target. In the 35th minute, Chelsea were calling for a penalty after it seemed Willian was brought down in the box but he was booked for simulation for his cynical dive. United were banging on the door but not actually getting what they were trying to do but kept trying, never giving up.

Anthony Martial took the lead for United in the 45th minute, just before three minutes of added time was announced. Wan-Bissaka played a great cross into the Chelsea box with the Frenchman lying in wait and heading past Willy Caballero, who was scrambling. It was a good goal, Martial’s 13th goal of the season for the club. United need to keep doing what they have been doing – frustrating Chelsea and aiming to leave Stamford Bridge with another victory this season.

Chelsea drew level with United in the 55th minute of the match with Kurt Zouma, who came on at half time, scoring the goal. However, in the run up to the goal, it appeared that Brandon Williams was fouled by in the box and the goal was ruled out by VAR. Zouma was booked for a poor challenge on Martial in the 59th minute with Fred getting a booking too for his behaviour after the foul. United should be aiming to capitalise with both of Chelsea’s central defenders on yellow cards.

United doubled their lead in the 66th minute from a corner. Fernandes delivered a great ball into the box, to the back post with Maguire beating Rudiger and putting a belting header past Caballero scoring his second goal for United but his first for his new club in the Premier League. I am sure the Chelsea supporters will be moaning that Maguire should not have been on the pitch for the goal but they need to take that up with VAR and stop being bitter. Frank Lampard is a poor manager.

Chelsea scored again, this time through Olivier Giroud as Reece James got the ball down the right, swing in a perfect cross to the Frenchman to meet with a diving header. Chelsea were back in the game. Or were they? VAR had a look at the goal and again ruled out out, the time for offside. Giroud’s foot was offside when the ball came into the box. Lampard was looking annoyed on the sidelines but it is nobody’s fault but his own for his side not being able to beat United this season.

It may have been a bad night for Chelsea but United will be returning to Manchester with three important points in the bag, having beaten Chelsea three times this season, twice at Stamford Bridge. Odion Ighalo got his first appearance for United and could have capitalised with a goal seconds after coming on the pitch. Solskjaer will be happy with what he saw and will now look ahead to Thursday’s return to UEFA Europa League action against Club Brugge in Belgium.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one was beaten twice in the game against Chelsea, however, both goals were ruled out by VAR. In the last minute of the match, he seemed to become injured after Chelsea tried to get back into the game.

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3 Eric Bailly

The Ivorian started off very rusty but soon got into the pace of the game, doing some important defensive work. Perhaps he's the player to form a partnership with Maguire this season? He played well throughout the match after his opening spell of insecurity and could stand in the way of Lindelof now.

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5 Harry Maguire

It could have been one of those matches for Maguire. Defensively, he did well for his club but he could have been sent off - something he will gain criticism for despite VAR not giving him a red card. It did look like he kicked out but accidents do happen. Scored his first Premier League goal for United, with a header assisted by Fernandes. The captain played well and will be happy with his goal and the all important three points for United.

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23 Luke Shaw

Playing on the left of a back three, Shaw did well for United. Williams was playing further forward. Shaw threatened at times, busting a gut to get the ball forward but it did not always happen as he may have liked.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

I see a lot of criticism for Wan-Bissaka based on his attacking threat but for the opening goal against Chelsea, he could not have done much wrong. His crossing is better then any other player in his position at the club for the past seven years. He got the assist for an important goal.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian midfielder played well for United again, in a match which came too soon for McTominay. He was booked in the second half for defending Martial after he was fouled. He's going to be a good player to have in the team this season.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian was missed against Wolves about a fortnight ago. He did what he needed to do in midfield with him and Fred releasing Fernandes to play further forward, where he should be play8ing.

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33 Brandon Williams

The teenager has become a permanent fixture in the first team this season, and rightly so. He's beyond his years in terms of ability and is clearly ready to carve his name into the footballing world. Not much seems to faze him - if anything. He was fouled in the build up to Chelsea's equaliser, which was ruled out for the foul. He also managed another booking for the season during the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder had a good game against Chelsea, showing his quality. He was unlucky with a few times in the game but from a corner. he set up Maguire to double United's lead in the game. He played well throughout the match, earning the ovation he received when being replaced by Dalot two minutes into added time.

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Review & Ratings: Martial and Maguire score in Chelsea victory; Fernandes is some player – VAR hurts Chelsea with Two goals ruled out

He played well and his pace was used at times. He did not really get stuck into the match but not every player is going to hit the ground running all of the time. He was replaced by Pereira in the 80th minute of the match, ending his game with United 2-0 up and strolling home.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman headed his effort into the back of the net at the end of the first half, assisted by Wan-Bissaka. The Frenchman was not at his best during the rest of the game and was replaced by Ighalo in the 90th minute.

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Substitutes

15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced James 80'. He did not really have much impact in the game other than to help United with his fresh legs. Chelsea's sting had been removed by this time in the game.

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Review & Ratings: Martial and Maguire score in Chelsea victory; Fernandes is some player – VAR hurts Chelsea with Two goals ruled out

Replaced Martial 90'. Came on with added time remaining. Could have made it a debut to remember, however, he was not able to score his goal. He might need more time to become a starter, however, Thursday could see him have more involvement.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Fernandes 90+2'. Came on late in the game for Fernandes. Had little impact being on the pitch for three minutes or so.

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Goals: Anthony Martial 45′, Harry Maguire 66′

Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 45′, Bruno Fernandes 66′

Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams; Fernandes (Dalot 90+2); James (Pereira 80′), Martial (Ighalo 90′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones; Mata; Greenwood

Bookings: Willian 35′, Antonio Rudiger 48′, Kurt Zouma 59′, Pedro 64′; Fred 59′, Brandon Williams 76′, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 79′

Confirmed Starting XI: Fernandes playing behind Martial and James; Ighalo on the bench versus Chelsea

Manchester United have travelled to Stamford Bridge to face Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the Premier League this 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.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Bailly, Maguire, Shaw;

Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams;

Fernandes;

James, Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Jones, Dalot; Mata, Pereira; Ighalo, Greenwood

Chelsea:

Caballero;

James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta;

Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic;

Pedro, Batshuayi, Willian

Substitutes:

Arrizabalaga; Alonso, Zouma, Tomori; Barkley, Mount; Giroud

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.

How Manchester United could look against Chelsea; Martial, James and Greenwood leading the line, Fernandes creating, Ighalo on the bench?

Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had had just over two weeks rest before the busy end of the season commences. Solskjaer has beaten Frank Lampard’s Chelsea twice already this season, a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford in the Premier League and a 2-1 Carabao Cup victory at the Bridge sees United scoring six goals with one in reply.

Ensuring United win this match will be important and put United back in the right direction. Falling to eighth in the Premier League at the weekend, United find themselves six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and winning this match is necessary as losing it could mean a nine point gap, drawing keeps it at six points. Solskjaer will need to get his team motivated to win as when Chelsea have dropped points recently, they have not gone all out to get what they need.

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

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish number one will lead from the back against Chelsea. He has been in good form in the last few matches that he has played, despite conceding four goals. There have been signs of the player we all know returning and he needs to find his way – continuing to play will help him do just that. United have four matches before the end of the month and De Gea might not play in two of those; against Club Brugge in the Uefa Europa League.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

I would like to see Eric Bailly form a partnership with Harry Maguire, but after he was missing from the bench against Wolves, it made me wonder whether he was fit. Based on this, Victor Lindelof will keep his place in the centre of defence alongside the England defender. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will start in the right-back position with Brandon Williams returning to the starting XI at the expense of Luke Shaw. I feel this is the best option at this time, granted, Williams does not have bags of experience but this is what he is getting at this moment in time.

Midfield: Fred, Nemanja Matic, Bruno Fernandes

Nemanja Matic was missed against Wolves about a fortnight ago. With him not eligible to play after service a one match suspension, he will come in at a good time. Scott McTominay is expected to miss this game, although that could be wrong. Assuming that he is, Fred will keep his place in the centre of midfield with Bruno Fernandes playing further forward, which is a position that suits him more than the one he played in the second half against Wolves. United need to be creating goals and those further up the pitch, need to be looking for the creativity and utilising it to set the club in the right direction. Failure is not an option.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Daniel James

With Marcus Rashford on the sidelines, United are no doubt weaker up front but will have to make do. Against Chelsea, I expect Anthony Martial to lead the line again. I would expect to see Mason Greenwood in the right and Daniel James on the left. Odion Ighalo is expected to be on the bench, but I could be wrong. This forward three is capable of getting the best results, especially with a bit of creativity in the midfield, which is what Fernandes brings to the table. Martial need to become that player who can achieve things though as in the past few matches, he’s not been doing that.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw; Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira; Odion Ighalo

Sergio Romero will be the backup for De Gea against Chelsea although new goalkeeper Nathan Bishop could possibly be on the bench at some point towards the end of the season. I would like to see Eric Bailly start but his withdrawal against Wolves makes me wonder if he’s fit. Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw can fill the fullback positions, if needed with Dalot also able to play a more advanced role. Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira could be useful from the bench. Odion Ighalo might be an impact player from the bench for this game, if he is fit and ready to go.

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

copyright: JW