Arguably the biggest game in the Premier League this weekend comes at Old Trafford where Manchester United entertain Chelsea.
A fortnight ago Manchester United were at their lowest ebb under boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a 1-6 home thrashing at the hands of Spurs, which equalled the biggest home defeat in their history.
However, United bounced back with a 1-4 Premier League victory away at Newcastle last time out, followed up by a sensational performance against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League midweek.
Solskjaer bravely opted for a back three in Paris, with Axel Tuanzebe installed in to the starting 11 for the first time in 10 months.
The defender’s giant performance in shackling superstar Kylian Mbappe was all the more impressive considering it was his first game of 2020.
Chelsea too were in Champions League action on Tuesday night, although they were unable to breach La Liga opponents Sevilla as neither side was able to break the deadlock.
The 0-0 draw isn’t a terrible result against arguably Chelsea’s toughest opponents in the group, and gaffer Frank Lampard will be pleased with a far more assured defensive display than the one which saw them shell a lead to Southampton at Stamford Bridge in their last Premier League game.
Chelsea can be boosted by the fact that United have only picked up two points from the last 12 on offer on their own patch, and the Red Devils could go five consecutive matches without an Old Trafford win for the first time since February 1990.
Incidentally, the Blues could do with some improvement on their travels – Chelsea have conceded more away goals than any other club in the Premier League since the start of last season.
Tuesday night’s stalemate with Sevilla brought about an impressive performance from new Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who has kept two clean sheets in the two games he has played.
He is almost certain to start in goal at Old Trafford after Frank Lampard admitted the Senegal international is his preferred number one.
Fellow fresh face Hakim Ziyech is in line for his first Blues start, whilst Thiago Silva will be assessed after an awkward fall in the Sevilla game.
For Manchester United, skipper Harry Maguire didn’t travel to Paris due to injury, but he is expected to return. Eric Bailly won’t be involved, however – he is out for 4 weeks with yet another injury.
Anthony Martial is suspended after his red card against Tottenham two weeks ago, so Edinson Cavani will likely make his United bow after getting a full week’s training under his belt.
Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are both expected absentees with knocks, but the verdict is still out on Mason Greenwood, who Solskjaer claims has a ‘niggling injury’ despite reports the club have warned the young striker over his discipline.
Manchester United v Chelsea is a 5.30pm kick off on Saturday 24th October.