Chelsea welcome Manchester United on Sunday as both sides look to keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Antonio Conte’s side stuttered once again on Tuesday, losing 3-0 to Roma in the Champions League. Man United are on the verge of qualification to the knockout stage, having won all their matches in the competition.
Jose Mourinho has a mixed record against his former employers at United, winning once and losing twice, and he will be joined by Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic in reuniting with the Blues.
N’Golo Kante is 50/50 to play against United, but Antonio Conte remains hopeful that he will be fit enough to return after a week of training.
Chelsea will be without Victor Moses, who could return after the international break as he recovers from the hamstring strain suffered against Crystal Palace.
Danny Drinkwater is back in the squad to face his former club and he has made one start and two substitute appearances in the past two weeks, although he has yet to complete a full 90 minute match.
David Luiz is playing with a broken wrist but he also has been competing with bandages around his right knee. Chelsea have no other injuries but some players may be suffering from some tiredness after a busy month of fixtures in three competitions.
Chelsea have no suspensions for the match against Manchester United.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Chelsea played their strongest side against Roma but were still beaten 3-0, though many first-team players will continue in the XI, starting their third match in a row against United.
Alvaro Morata, Eden Hazard and Pedro have emerged as Conte’s first choice front three, while 3-4-3 and 5-3-2 remain the club’s preferred systems despite the side’s form dropping in recent weeks.
Antonio Rudiger has quickly established himself as an important first team player, while the likes of David Luiz, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta continue to be automatic first choice starters.
Kante’s fitness will be key to how Conte decides to line up and he will hope to be able to call upon the 26-year-old.
MANCHESTER UNITED TEAM NEWS
Jose Mourinho has a number of injuries but he should be able to welcome back Phil Jones, who was rested against Benfica in light of his recent knee problem.
Marouane Fellaini could make himself available again too following his recovery from a knee injury sustained on international duty with Belgium in October. Michael Carrick is nearing a return after stepping up his solo training this week as he recovers from a calf issue.
Paul Pogba’s fitness remains a mystery but he remains unlikely to feature for Chelsea and he has been left out of the France squad. Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be back in the next few weeks having missed seven months due to his ACL injury. Marcos Rojo is still out after suffering the same injury, in the same match back in April.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Manchester United’s 2-0 victory in their last meeting with Chelsea ended a run of 12 games without a win against them in all competitions. They last won back-to-back meetings with the Blues in September 2011.
Manchester United have lost more Premier League games (17) and conceded more Premier League goals (66) against Chelsea than they have against any other side in the competition.
Antonio Conte’s side have already lost as many home Premier League games this season as they did in 2016-17 overall (2).
Antonio Conte has won 112 points as Chelsea manager in his 48 Premier League games in charge, 11 points fewer than Jose Mourinho had at this point of his Chelsea managerial career (123). Mourinho lost just one of his first 48 Premier League games in charge of the club (W38 D9 L1), but Conte has already lost eight times (W36 D4 L8).
Romelu Lukaku has scored 15 goals in 59 Premier League games against ‘big six’ opposition, averaging a goal every 295 minutes. His mins per goal ratio against non ‘big six’ opponents is 137 (77 goals in 137 apps).
TV CHANNEL & KICK OFF TIME
The match is being televised on Sky Sports at 16:30 BST on Sunday evening.
Published at Fri, 03 Nov 2017 12:00:00 +0000