Match Preview: Manchester United vs Chelsea

Manchester United will be looking to revive their chances of finishing in the top four when they welcome Chelsea at Old Trafford for a Premier League encounter on Thursday. The Red Devils, currently sixth, are coming into this match after two demoralising results – a 4-0 loss to Liverpool and a 3-1 reverse to Arsenal. On the other hand, Thomas Tuchel’s men are third on the table and recently defeated West Ham, thanks to a late goal from Christian Pulisic.

It’s one of four remaining Premier League games for Manchester United. They are six points behind fourth-place Arsenal, having played a match more.

The losses against Arsenal and Liverpool meant that Manchester United’s hopes of a top-four finish are all but over as they are in sixth place, six points shy of Arsenal in fourth, who also have a game in hand. But with West Ham pushing from below, Ralf Rangnick’s side need to pick up positive results to ensure they finish in the top six at least.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have been well below their best of late. Having succumbed to a shock home defeat to Arsenal last week, the Blues just about managed to eke out a win over West Ham United, securing a narrow 1-0 victory. With Arsenal and Tottenham not very far away, Thomas Tuchel’s side will need to bag another win or two to avoid getting dragged into the top-four battle.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 100th Premier League goal after a tragic week was a nice touch for the 37-year-old, but Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka struck in a 3-1 success for the Gunners, who indeed rode their luck as Bruno Fernandes missed from the spot in the second half.

Taking just four points from 15 on offer since the start of the month and losing three of their last four means that Man United are at risk of dropping out of the European places entirely, never mind a Champions League pursuit, with Ralf Rangnick’s side now sixth in the rankings and six points behind Arsenal having played a game more.

Only Manchester City (39) have won more away points in the Premier League than Chelsea (36) this season, while only Liverpool (40) have scored more goals on the road than the Blues (35). Chelsea have won their last eight away games in all competitions, the longest such run in their history.

Manchester United’s possible starting lineup:

De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Telles; McTominay, Matic; Elanga, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo

Chelsea’s possible starting lineup:

Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz

 

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