The third instalment of a fixture trilogy of nightmares beckons for Manchester United as they host Chelsea.
Consecutive losses to Liverpool and Arsenal have devastated United’s Champions League ambitions but a victory against the current European Champions could inspire a positive end to the season.
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK Time
Channel: Sky Sports
How do Manchester United look?Embed from Getty Images
Fortunes dwindling on the pitch has also seen United’s injury situation worsen. Jadon Sancho and Harry Maguire have been added to United’s list of significant absentees. Jadon Sancho, who scored United’s goal in the reverse fixture, will miss the tie with illness.
Captain Maguire faces up to four weeks on the sidelines due to a knee injury. The England centre-back could now miss the remainder of United’s season. Maguire’s absence could mean Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane retain their starting positions.
As well as Sancho and Maguire, Fred, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw remain sidelined.
Interim boss Ralf Rangnick did hint at potential youth involvement due to the injury crisis United face.
“Right now it seems that we have 14 of our own professional team without the youngsters that are available,” he told the press.
“Probably three or four of those young players will be part of the squad.”
Alejandro Garnacho and Alvaro Fernandez were pictured in training this week so could be involved.
Opposition: ChelseaEmbed from Getty Images
The Blues sit in third position in the Premier League which is probably a just reflection of their situation. Their quality has been enough to ensure big results but they’ve lacked the consistency of the leading two at the summit.
Their lack of consistency has seen them look vulnerable in recent weeks dropping points at home to Arsenal and scraping a victory against West Ham. But that’s no reason to take them for granted, Chelsea’s squad depth is enough to beat anyone on their day and they do go into this fixture as favourites.
Antonio Rüdiger and Reece James returned to training for Chelsea as they hope to boost their fortunes.
Key StatsEmbed from Getty Images
United are unbeaten in their last eight home league games against Chelsea. (W3 D5).
United are also unbeaten in their last seven at Old Trafford.
Only Manchester City (39) have won more away points than Chelsea (36).
United somewhat raised their performance against Arsenal compared to recent weeks. The worrying thing is that a result still eluded the Reds despite their eforts. Rangnick’s side currently lacks the minerals to win games at current. For that reason, United will fail to pick up points again.
Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea