Manchester United vs. Chelsea Preview

Photo Credit: footballia.net


Finally, all the transfer talk is over (despite a somewhat underwhelming window), and it is now time for the football to do the talking as Manchester United are set to take on Chelsea in a big Premier League opener at Old Trafford on Sunday. 

United enjoyed a positive pre-season, going undefeated by winning all six of their preparation games (5W and 1 on penalties). Despite the seemingly never ending speculation about the ins and outs, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men looked quite impressive in pre-season, and gave the fans some reasons for optimism with the style of play that was implemented over the summer. In addition, United also managed to address the most important hole in the squad by adding two quality signings in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire to solidify the defence. And while failing to replace some players further up the park, United do seem to be in better shape mentally and physically in comparison to this time last year, and with the emerging youth players set to be given a real chance in the first team this campaign. 

Chelsea had some issues of their own heading into pre-season with the transfer ban and the departure of Maurizio Sarri hanging over their heads, but they also brought in a familiar face in midfield legend, Frank Lampard, to steady the ship, and start building towards the future with his youthful eye. The Blues played some impressive football going forward during their preparation period, but looked quite vulnerable on the defensive end, conceding three goals against both the Championship side Reading and RB Salzburg in their last two friendly outings. Despite that, like United, the London side is seemingly also full of optimism heading into the new season, with plenty of fresh faces ready to take their chance and stake their claim to be in the team long-term once their transfer ban is lifted next summer. 

Teams: Manchester United vs Chelsea
KO: 11th August 2019 16:30pm GMT
Location: Old Trafford, Manchester 
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard

Team News:

Although lacking a bit in terms of depth, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to have the vast majority of his squad available for selection come Sunday, with only Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah being absent through injury, and Alexis Sanchez likely being absent due to lack of match fitness. United will be bolstered by all three of their summer signings, with Harry Maguire reportedly ready to make his debut against Chelsea according to the manager. While most of the United lineup pretty much picks itself for this game, there are two or three key decisions that Solskjaer will have to make in terms of the starting XI on Sunday, and that includes whether to give Mason Greenwood a start in a game of this magnitude. 

Chelsea have a few more key absentees, with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James, and Antonio Rudiger sidelined for Sunday, and perhaps beyond. Additionally with the deadline day departure of David Luiz, like his counterpart, Frank Lampard is not left with a whole lot of choice in terms of his starting lineup, and he will also have to take into consideration putting his trust into some young players to get the season underway. 

Predicted Lineup:

Image from Buildlineup.com

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea

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