Chelsea vs Manchester United | Premier League | Stamford Bridge | Sunday 28 Nov 2021 | 16:30 GMT | Sky Sports
A lot can change in a week.
One week ago, Manchester United had just been beaten 4-1 by Watford, a fifth defeat in seven Premier League matches, and manager, at the time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked lost and helpless.
Fast forward one week, and United have secured their spot in the last sixteen of the UEFA Champions League, kept a clean sheet in midweek and look set to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their interim boss for the remainder of the season, before he picks up a consultancy role in the board for the next two years.
Life appears to be getting back on track at Manchester United, although the ‘small’ task of travelling to Stamford Bridge meets them on Sunday afternoon, when they face league leaders Chelsea, who are in the form of their lives at the moment.
How do Manchester United look?
The catastrophic ending to the match against Watford last week saw Harry Maguire be sent off for two bookable offences, meaning he will miss the clash with Chelsea due to suspension.
This, to some fans, may be seen as a blessing, as the captain’s performances have not been up to par as of late, and giving him some time off could be what he needs to regain any sort of form.Embed from Getty Images
With Raphael Varane still out injured, it is expected that Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf will line up together at centre half, a prospect that Chelsea are likely rubbing their hands together over, given the lack of game time the duo have together in recent seasons.
Luke Shaw, who missed the midweek game with Villareal due to concussion, will likely start at left back, in order to establish some normality to the back four, whilst Aaron Wan-Bissaka will do the same on the right.
Caretaker boss Michael Carrick adopted a 4-3-3 formation when in possession in midweek, whilst changing to a flat 4-4-2 without the ball, something that he will most likely want to continue with in the game against Chelsea.Embed from Getty Images
With that being said, Donny Van de Beek will be in contention to make his first league start of the campaign, whilst one of Scott McTominay or Fred will likely start, but not both, as Bruno Fernandes should also return to the starting eleven.
In attack, it would be naïve of Carrick to play any other front three than Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford, who can cause the most damage to the Chelsea back five.
Opposition: ChelseaEmbed from Getty Images
Thomas Tuchel, who holds the incoming Rangnick in the highest regard as a manager, has his Chelsea team playing like a well-oiled machine.
Every player knows their role, knows their strengths and limitations, and are able to hold onto results with thanks to their incredible defensive record.
The Blues have conceded just four Premier League goals all season, the same amount that United conceded in 45 minutes against Liverpool last month.Embed from Getty Images
Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has been performing sensationally this season and is by far the most inform goalkeeper in the league, who is exceeding all expectations when it comes to goals conceded.
The back five system that Tuchel uses keeps them compact at the back and very hard to beat, something that the runs of Sancho and Rashford will be key in breaking down on Sunday.
Former United man Romelu Lukaku is expected to lead the line after returning from injury, but both Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante are expected to be out after they picked up knocks in the week, as is Mateo Kovacic.
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last eleven visits to London clubs.
United have, however, lost five of their last seven Premier League matches.
Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United.