Chelsea entertain Manchester United in Monday night’s Premier League clash from Stamford Bridge.
The west London side have held onto the final Champions League spot for most of the season, but they have been helped from the fact that the teams below them in the standings have failed to capitalise on their shortcomings.
The Blues have been unable to win two league games on the trot since the November international break and they are still in the fourth position with a two-point advantage over Sheffield United, who have played an extra game more.
United, on the other hand, have gone through a similarly identical phase during the past few months in the Premier League and they are presently placed eighth on the table with a six-point deficit to Frank Lampard’s side.
Despite this, they will go into the upcoming game with some positivity, given they have been unbeaten in the previous five meetings against the Blues and have won their two encounters in the league and Carabao Cup this term.
Players to watch out for:
Tammy Abraham – Chelsea: Abraham has not scored for three league games on the bounce but he did win the penalty in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal last month. Still, the Blues expect much more from a player, who is leading the line and he needs to capitalise on the accurate crosses distributed into the box by right-back Reece James. James has been precise with the trajectory of his deliveries, but Abraham has been unable to pounce as he has hesitated and delayed his movement towards the ball.
Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United: The goals have dried up for United with the injury setback for Marcus Rashford and they have failed to find the net in the past three league encounters. During this period, Anthony Martial has not been able to receive the service from his teammates at regular intervals and that has left him as a frustrated figure. Fernandes was pursued in January in order to improve on this statistic and the Portuguese will have the task of providing through-balls for Martial to take advantage. The forward has bagged three goals from seven league meetings against Chelsea.
Chelsea have struggled with their league form at Stamford Bridge this term and they have bagged just five victories from 12 matches. Rashford was the difference between the sides in the previous two meetings this season (scored a brace in each game) and his absence should hamper United’s chances of beating the Blues.
Both teams are winless in the past three top-flight matches but the Blues are definitely in the better shape, having scored four goals in those games compared to United’s none. The hosts have had the tendency to concede this term but they should still edge the encounter by the odd goal.
Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United