Chelsea Vs Man United Preview: Team news, key stats, and probable starting XI

Out of favor Chelsea star Kepa Arrizabalga makes decision on his Blues’ future
The 25-year-old has the lowest save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season

Only six points separate the fourth-placed Chelsea side from eighth in the table Manchester United as competition for the final Champions League place in the Premier League heats up.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be hoping that his Man United players could take advantage of Chelsea’s recent blip-in form when the two sides clash at the Stamford Bridge stadium on Monday night.

The Blues who started the season in brilliant fashion have stumbled in the past few weeks as they have won only one of their last five games in the Premier League coming into this game.

Their inability to bring in a new player in the January transfer window combined with the poor form of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has opened the door for teams below them in the table to make an effort and dethrone Chelsea from the final Champions League place.

Man United have had troubles of their own as they too, like their hosts on Monday, are coming into this heated clash with just one win in five. For this reason, both teams might feel that they have the chance to get a positive result against their fierce rivals.

Team news of both sides

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Given that he was dropped from the Blues’ squad that drew 2-2 against Leicester City before the winter break, all eyes would be on Kepa and whether or not Lampard picks him for this game.

The most expensive goalkeeper in world football has the worst save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Throw into the mix his numerous high-profile errors, and it seems difficult that his boss would take a chance with the Spaniard on Monday night.

Lampard will also face a call over whether to include the fit-again Christian Pulisic in his starting XI. The former Borussia Dortmund forward has recovered from the injury he sustained before the international break and is expected to be at least on the bench.

Deadline day signing Odion Ighalo didn’t train with the rest of the squad amid fears of coronavirus over the past two weeks. But his quarantine period ends this weekend and the Nigerian is expected to be named in the starting XI by his manager.

Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe, two players who have both recovered from long-term injuries, won’t feature against Chelsea as Solskjaer has hinted that he’d wait until next Thursday’s Europa League tie against Club Brugge before easing the duo in the matchday squad.


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Willian's contract is set to expire at the end of the season. Copyright: imago images / Sportimage

With United failing to score in their last 3 Premier League games and Chelsea winning none of their six games that they have played against the traditional ‘Big Six’ so far this season, one could expect that this game would end in a stalemate.

Solskjaer’s side might have defeated Chelsea and Manchester City earlier in the season but the absence of Marcus Rashford combined with their recent average form makes it difficult to imagine a scenario in which they’d come out of this clash with all three points in the bag.

That despite the fact that neither Chelsea nor Man United would be happy with a stalemate. While the Blues have the entire chasing pack on their back, United know that anything but a victory in this fixture might see them fall to 9th place in the table.

However, given the recent form of both sides in general, a draw seems to be the most likely result on Monday night.

Possible Chelsea starting lineup vs Man United (4-2-3-1): Caballero; James, Tomori, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Kante; Willian, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Abraham

Possible Man United starting lineup vs Chelsea (3-4-1-2): De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams; Bruno Fernandes; Ighalo, Martial

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