Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Sunday
MAN UTD INJURIES
Ander Herrera will be unable to repeat his Man of the Match performance in this fixture last season as he misses out due to the muscle injury which saw him leave the 0-0 draw with Sevilla less than 17 minutes in. Marouane Fellaini remains out after undergoing surgery on his troublesome left knee. The Belgian is likely to be absent until the end of March, ruling him out of at least nine fixtures in all competition
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to training this week following a break from first-team football to help him overcome issues after his ACL surgery while Daley Blind is likely to miss out once more due to a muscle injury suffered in training in January. Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones both have knocks to shake off but could be available for Chelsea’s visit.
MAN UTD SUSPENSIONS
United have no suspension issues, and the same is true of Antonio Conte’s side.
MAN UTD POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Jose Mourinho has made a habit of matching up against three-man defences since arriving at Old Trafford, and he could well do the same on Sunday. While Rojo and Jones are not certain to return, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling should be good to start if the manager decides that a centre-back trio is the way to go.
The big question, of course, will be whether Paul Pogba starts in midfield following the discourse of the last few weeks, but it is hard to envisage the Frenchman not being involved particularly in light of Ander Herrera’s injury. Club captain Michael Carrick is on standby to fill a third midfield role, although Scott McTominay’s performance in restraining Ever Banega in midweek may win him a starting shirt once more as the Portuguese looks to put a leash on Chelsea’s more creative players.
A back three could potentially narrow down attacking options even more, but it would give Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku the chance to pair up for the first time without fear of stepping on other toes in the forward line.
CHELSEA TEAM NEWS
Antonio Conte’s outfit have had the ultimate in inconsistent seasons so far, but a win at Old Trafford on Sunday would take them level with United and really mix things up in the race for Champions League qualification.
For the Blues, David Luiz is currently out with an ankle injury and Tiemoue Bakayoko has a knock that he sustained in training. The duo are the only two players currently unavailable for the Man United game. Bakayoko hasn’t featured since Chelsea’s shock 4-1 defeat to Watford at the start of the month, where his early red card proved costly.
Ross Barkley wasn’t selected in Chelsea’s matchday squad to face Barcelona in midweek, but he has joined in first team training sessions. That 1-1 draw with the Catalans attracted widespread praise, and another such tactical masterclass could be ordered by Conte as he looks to put his old enemy’s nose out of joint.
POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Chelsea’s newest recruit, Olivier Giroud, seems to have already settled in well to the squad and he notched his first goal against Hull City last Friday in the FA Cup.
Conte faces a dilemma over whether to use Eden Hazard as a false nine again, as he did against Barcelona, or utilise Giroud or Morata as a classic striker.
Conte will likely use the strongest line-up that he has available to him, despite his squad putting so much into the midweek game. Manchester United played a day later than the Blues and had to fly back from Sevilla after their match, so they have the edge in that regard.