Chelsea vs Manchester United Preview and Combined XI

Image result for chelsea vs man utd
Image from Sky Sports
The winter break is finally over and the eagerly anticipated match between fierce rivals Chelsea and Manchester United probably holds a lot more weight and significance at Stamford Bridge when these two Premier League giants met in the opening game of the Premier League in August 2019. 

Manchester United had the upper hand in this meeting and beat Chelsea 4-0 at Old Trafford with goals coming from Rashford (2), Martial and Daniel James. Manchester United are currently in a disappointing ninth place with this game in hand and are desperate to make ground on Chelsea who are currently holding the all important fourth place in the Premier League and are six points clear of the Red Devils.  For Solskjaer this match could be critical as another loss would potentially leave the gap of 4th place too large a gap to make up and leave them in an embarrasing midtable position.
The Red Devils have proven when facing the top six teams this season they can step up their game and  have registered wins against Man City and Chelsea twice, Spurs and being the only team to take points of Liverpool so far. The Red Devils needs to win at all cost against Chelsea if they want to end in the season with a guarantee of Champions League football next season. 

Having got a few new attacking options in midfielder, Bruno Fernandes and striker, Odion Ighalo on loan for six months in the January transfer windowSolskjaer will be emboldened by Manchester United's excellent recent record against Chelsea, most of it coming when he's been at the helm. As mentioned, Manchester United have already recorded two wins against Frank Lampard's side this season, a 4-0 thrashing on the opening day of the Premier League season and that 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup. Solskjaer's other two games against Chelsea last season, have been a drab 1-1 draw at Old Trafford towards the end of last season and an excellent 2-0 away win in the FA Cup fifth round courtesy of Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera. In fact, the last time United lost in the league to Chelsea was in November 2017 when the teams were managed by Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho and Alvaro Morata was still scoring goals in the Premier League. Gone are the days of United's 12-game winless run against the Blues, which came between October 2012 and March 2017 and United will need a win on Monday in the build-up to a difficult run of matches.
Chelsea team news is that Tammy Abraham faces a late fitness test ahead of the Monday night clash as he continues to battle an ankle problem and will be assessed late on. Christian Pulisic (adductor) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles) will both miss out, with neither match fit despite being in training. Manchester United's Odion Ighalo will be part of the squad. Ighalo joined on loan until the end of the season on January 31st but has not been training at Carrington due to concerns about the coronavirus until today. Nemanja Matic is available again after missing the 0-0 draw with Wolves through suspension, but Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe remain sidelined.
Team Selection is always key and looking at both the teams carefully a Combined XI would be as follows:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Kante, Fernandes, Mount, Willian, Martial, Ighalo
Predicted Lineup:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams, Matic, Fred, Greenwood, Fernandes, James, Martial

PREDICTED SCORE: 1-2 to United

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