Manchester United face top of the table Chelsea on Saturday afternoon. Both sides head into the game with relatively similar form, however with the recent results United have pulled off, and with the scale of the teams they have faced, it could be said that United are favourites to win the game at Stamford Bridge.
The home of Chelsea isn’t an easy place for any side to go to. Mourinho’s unbeaten run there spanned across multiple seasons. Manchester United, you’d expect, will go into the game with high hopes of knocking Chelsea down, and thus reclaiming a small chance of grabbing the title off Chelsea, who have already seemingly run away with it.
The side we all expect United to play Chelsea would be an unchanged team from the one that beat rivals Manchester City last Sunday. That could be, but I predict there may be one or two changes.
Valencia – Smalling – McNair – Shaw
Fellaini – Herrera
Mata – Di Maria – Young
That’s the side United could field on Saturday. With Jones’ rather shaky performance vs City, many could expect to see Rojo claiming his place at the back once again. However, Louis van Gaal admitted both Jones and Rojo will be unavailable for the game. Meaning Paddy McNair could feature. The injury to Carrick is yet to prove its significance, with no one really knowing whether he will figure in the game. I could see Blind being pushed from left back, to centre midfield, should Carrick be left out. But with even more bad news coming from United’s camp, stating that Blind is also a doubt, I can see Fellaini falling back into midfield. Let’s hope Blind and Carrick are fit to face Chelsea. Luke Shaw would come into the left back spot to replace Blind.
All in all, the front 4 would’ve remained unchanged. Which would’ve see yet another start from the bench for Angel di Maria. The £60m man has certainly not had the start to life at Old Trafford that he, nor anyone else would’ve liked to see. With the injuries United are facing though, it’s likely that with Fellaini needed further down the field, Di Maria could be called up to play behind Rooney.
The injury problems United face against Chelsea will put a little dampener onto the game as far as United fans are concered. However, there’s no reason why they can’t go out and give it a go, and still get a result.