Manchester United will aim to keep their dreams of a top-four finish in the Premier League alive when they host Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
MANCHESTER UNITED STATS, FORM, SQUAD
The Red Devils once again lost ground in the race for Champions League football to a direct top-four rival at the Emirates. Despite a quick response from Cristiano Ronaldo after Nuno Tavares and Bukayo Saka had put the Gunners 2-0 up, Bruno Fernandes failed to level the game from the spot before a long-range effort from Granit Xhaka settled the game at 3-1. Taking just four points from a possible 15 since the start of the month and losing three of their last four premier league games, Man United are at risk of dropping out of the European places entirely never mind a Champions League pursuit, with Ralf Rangnick’s men now sixth in the premier league rankings and six points behind Arsenal having played a game more. With West Ham two points below them, a loss against the blues would be brutal. However, Man United can at least take confidence from their domestic home form ahead of the Chelsea clash having strung together a seven-game Premier League unbeaten run at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, and Luke Shaw are ruled out with injuries. Fred is a major doubt after struggling with a hip injury. Bruno Fernandes despite recent struggles is likely to start. Predicted lineup: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Matic; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo.
CHELSEA STATS, FORM, SQUAD.
Chelsea have been in mixed form of late with three defeats and four wins in their last seven games in all competitions. However, most of their issues have come at home and they are unbeaten in 11 games away from Stamford Bridge. Despite a terrible penalty miss against West Ham in their last Premier League outing, substitute Christian Pulisic was in the right place at the right time to convert in the 90th minute and ensure that the Blues would remain in the driving seat for a third-place finish. A victory at Old Trafford would certainly give the Blues a healthy eight-point gap to fourth-placed Arsenal before the final six games of the season. A 1-1 draw against Man United at Stamford Bridge earlier this season stretched the Blues’ winless league run against the Red Devils to eight matches since a 1-0 home win in 2017. They have also failed to win a Premier League match at Old Trafford for nine years. Ben Chilwell, Mateo Kovacic, and Callum Hudson-Odoi remain sidelined. Andreas Christensen was pulled from the squad to face West Ham at the last minute due to stomach cramps but should be available, while Antonio Rudiger and Reece James are major doubts. Predicted lineup: Mendy; Loftus-Cheek, Azpilicueta, Silva, Chalobah, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante; Mount, Werner, Havertz
ACCUMULATOR TIP: BTTS & OVER 2.5
ANYTIME GOALSCORER: CRISTIANO RONALDO