Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Chelsea

Manchester United vs Chelsea | Premier League | Old Trafford | KO: 17:30 (UK) | Sky Sports

One week ago, Manchester United appeared to be in crisis. However, since the international break, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have beaten Newcastle United 4-1, as well as well as travelling to France to beat Paris Saint Germain 2-1 in impressive fashion in midweek.

United continue their tough run of fixtures on Saturday, with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea heading up to Old Trafford, in a match that could go a long way in deciding who finishes in the top four at the end of the season.

How do Manchester United Look?

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After almost a year out, Axel Tuanzebe made his return to the first team against PSG on Tuesday, and has staked a claim as to why he may be an option to start against Chelsea. He was tasked with marking world superstar Kylian Mbappe, and put in a top draw performance. Tuanzebe was strong, fast, physical and defensively sound against the Frenchman, showing he has what it takes to play for Manchester United.

With all the debate around the centre back position at the club, Axel’s performance will almost certainly make him one of the first choices for Solskjaer moving forward.

Both Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood missed the trip to Paris, and are a doubt for this weekend’s clash. Speaking ahead of the match, boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that they will both have fitness tests before he is to make any decisions on their inclusion in his matchday squad, saying “We’re still hoping Mason and Harry can be available in the squad. Of course, we have a training session today [Friday], so they’re going to have to go through that”.

He also confirmed the absence of two other first teamers, saying “Eric [Bailly] won’t be available. Jesse [Lingard] won’t be available so we’ll manage without them for a few weeks I think”.

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Solskjaer also confirmed that new signing Edinson Cavani is in contention to make his first appearance for the club, saying “I think he’ll be available for the weekend.”

Anthony Martial is still suspended for the clash, so Cavani will be one option for United, whilst Marcus Rashford’s display against PSG will also have put questions into Solskjaer’s mind about playing him as a centre forward once again.

Opposition: Chelsea

Chelsea, managed by club legend Frank Lampard, had high expectations going into this season.

They signed a number of top players over the summer, including Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech to name just a few.

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Star striker Werner scored his first Premier League goals last weekend against Southampton, so will likely enter the match with a boost of confidence.

The blues did, however, only draw against The Saints last time out.

It has been highly publicised how shaky Chelsea’s defence and, most notably, their goalkeeper, have been this season, and it was once again Kepa Arrizabalaga who was at fault for the dropped points. He yet again made a calamitous error to allow Southampton their equaliser.

Kepa has disappointed so much this season that Chelsea have signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes, as well as naming retired goalkeeper Petr Cech in their Premier League squad, in a sign of complete desperation from Frank Lampard.

If United can deal with the creative attack of Chelsea, and exploit the clear weaknesses that the away side have at the back, then you’d fancy their chances this weekend.

Key Stats:

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Bruno Fernandes has now been involved in 20 Premier League goals since signing for Manchester United. He’s achieved this in just 18 matches.

Since Lampard came in, Chelsea have conceded more away Premier League goals than any other side, with 42.

Prediction

Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea. Goals from Marcus Rashford (2) and a debut goal off the bench from Edinson Cavani.

Match Preview Writer

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