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Preview: Manchester United vs. Chelsea – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Premier League showdown between Manchester United and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester United will aim to keep their fleeting hopes of a top-4 Premier League finish alive when Chelsea take the trip to Old Trafford Thursday night.

The Red Devils fell 3-1 to Arsenal at the weekend Thomas Tuchels men left it late to defeat London rivals West Ham United 1-0.

Match preview

Preview: Manchester United vs.  Chelsea – prediction, team news, lineups© Reuters

Despite fleeting optimism, the appointment of Erik ten Hag could galvanize the Man United players – some of whom may be playing for their future at the club under the new boss – the Red Devils once again lost ground in the battle for Champions League football to a direct top-4 rival in the Emirates.

Cristiano RonaldoThe 100th Premier League goal after a tragic week was a fine detail for the 37-year-old, however Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka hit in a 3-1 success for the Gunners, who certainly rode their luck as Bruno Fernandes missed from the spot in the second half.

Taking just four points from 15 offers since the start of the month and losing three of their last four means that Man United risk falling out of the European places, no matter a Champions League chase, with Ralph Rangnicks side is now sixth on the rankings and six points behind Arsenal, who have played one match more.

West Ham are also blowing Man United down the neck and reports are starting to surface about Rangnick, who has reportedly lost the dressing room at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils can at least take a bite of confidence from their home form ahead of Thursday’s match. .

In fact, Rangnick’s men have put together a seven-match unbeaten Premier League race at Old Trafford – following a pattern of winning one and then drawing one at home – and not since the days of Louis van Gaal in 2015, they have suffered a trio of consecutive defeats in the top flight.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel looked frustrated during the Premier League match with Arsenal on 20 April 2022.© Reuters

Chelsea may have empathy with their upcoming opponents after also conceding several goals in a recent defeat to Arsenal, and Tuchel also found that his team could not convert from 12 yards at the weekend, with jorginho‘s trademark jump, jump and jump efforts kindly fall into the gloves of Lukasz Fabianski.

Just when it looked like it was going to be another frustrating afternoon in the office for Chelsea, replaces Christian Pulisic was in the right place at the right time to convert in the 90th minute and ensure that the Blues would remain in the driver’s seat for a third place.

Chelsea can now open up an eight-point gap to Arsenal in fourth place if they were to win their match on Thursday night, and victory at Old Trafford would certainly give the Blues a healthy buffer before meeting Leeds United, Everton, Leicester City , Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford before the season is over and dusty.

There is also the small matter of the FA Cup final that is to come for Chelsea, whose off-field distractions may begin to affect the players somewhat, but they have amassed an impressive nine-match winning streak away in all tournaments, including each of their last four in the top class.

Michael Carrick managed to hold Chelsea 1-1 with its Man United team at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, where the stalemate stretched the Blues’ unbeaten league run against the Red Devils to eight games since a 1-0 home win in 2017, and it’s nine years since, the capital last won a top fight in the Theater of Dreams.

Manchester United Premier League form:

Manchester United form (all tournaments):

Chelsea Premier League form:

Chelsea form (all tournaments):

Team news

Manchester United's Paul Pogba when he is replaced on 19 April 2022© Reuters

While Man United were boosted by the return of Raphael Varane from injury in the defeat to Arsenal, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw – of which the former has probably played his last match for the club – remains on the sidelines.

There is optimism about Peaces chances of fighting back from a hip problem in time to join the squad, and Rangnick should also consider recalling the first XI for Harry Maguirewho was sitting on the bench at the Emirates after a bomb threat against his home.

Both Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata | can feel confident in challenging Fernandes for a place in the side after the Portuguese’s recent matches, while Alex Telles was to blame for two of Arsenal’s goals at the weekend, but it is unlikely he will fall out with Shaw outside the match.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have their own long-term absence, which will not be available for competition in Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoiwhile Mateo Kovacic‘s ankle problem will take a little longer to heal.

Andreas Christensen was pulled from the squad to face West Ham at the last minute due to stomach cramps but should be available here while Antonio Rudiger and Reece James should both have good chances of returning.

As Tuchel potentially chooses to save the rotations for the showdown with relegation-threatened Everton, Pulisic could be one of the few players on the bench at the weekend considered for a start at Old Trafford if Timo Werner falls out of XI.

Manchester United’s possible starting line-up:
De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Elanga, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo

Chelsea’s possible starting line-up:
Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz

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We say: Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea

A return to home comfort and Chelsea’s miserable streak in the league at Old Trafford will work in Manchester United’s favor, but it’s hard to imagine the Red Devils getting a result against many teams in their current form.

While United have posted a respectable set of results at home, Chelsea have enjoyed win after win away and we can only imagine the Blues finishing their Old Trafford hoodoo to boost Rangnick’s top-four ambitions.

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