Chelsea will be hoping to maintain their winning form in the Premier League by securing another welcome victory over Manchester United’s misfiring stars at Old Trafford this evening. The Blues were forced to settle for a draw in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge but will be smelling blood at the next time of asking when they come up against a United side on a run of just one win in their last six matches in all competitions.
Express Sport takes a look at how Thomas Tuchel’s side could line up against the Red Devils later today.
Goalkeeper – Mendy
Edouard Mendy has firmly established himself as one of the world’s best shot-stoppers since joining Chelsea from Rennes in the summer of 2020. He is one their most important assets and is almost certain to keep his place between the sticks ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga this evening.
The Senegalese goalkeeper has kept a total of 21 clean sheets in all competitions for Chelsea this season and will be looking to add to his tally against United at Old Trafford. He will be tasked with shutting out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho for the Red Devils, who were comfortably beaten by Arsenal in their last outing at the Emirates Stadium.
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Defence – Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger
Antonio Rudiger has been sidelined for Chelsea since their FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace earlier this month but has been training with his team-mates ahead of today’s match against United. The German defender has emerged as a mainstay for the Blues over the last two years and will likely start if he is deemed fit enough to complete all 90 minutes at Old Trafford.
Thiago Silva could also feature for Chelsea at the heart of their back three, while Trevoh Chalobah may keep his place in the side after performing well against West Ham on Sunday. The latter has enjoyed an impressive breakthrough campaign at Stamford Bridge and could be set to play a bigger role over the course of next season in the absence of Rudiger.
Midfield – Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso
Reece James has also trained with the Chelsea squad ahead of this evening’s game but it remains to be seen whether he will be risked by Tuchel from the very first whistle. The England ace could instead be forced to settle for a spot on the bench, with Cesar Azpilicueta likely to move out to the right flank after playing as a central defender against West Ham.
Marcos Alonso will almost certainly occupy the left wing-back role in the continued absence of Ben Chilwell, who remains sidelined with a knee ligament injury. Meanwhile, a central duo of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante should be enough to win the midfield battle against United over the course of today’s match at Old Trafford.
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Attack – Mount, Pulisic, Havertz
Christian Pulisic scored Chelsea’s last-gasp winner at the London Stadium on Sunday and looks set to keep his place against United this evening. He will be tasked with his side’s creative duties alongside Mason Mount, who could feature ahead of Timo Werner if the German forward is rested in advance of this weekend’s meeting with relegation-threatened Everton.
Meanwhile, Kai Havertz has moved ahead of Romelu Lukaku in Tuchel’s pecking order and could be primed to shine at the tip of Chelsea’s attacking trident under the lights in Manchester. The 22-year-old has developed into a top-class No 9 over the course of this season and will be looking to score his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign by finding the back of the net against United.
Expected Chelsea XI (3-4-2-1) – Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz.