The stage is set for another blockbuster in the Premier League as Chelsea welcome Manchester United for a crucial encounter. Both teams are back in action on Monday night following the winter break. With six teams fighting for that all-important Champions League spot, every single point will make a difference.
Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United have been in good form, and a win here would go a long way in both the team's claim on a Champions League spot. Chelsea are somehow clinging onto the fourth spot and it is surprising how no one has gone above them. If the teams below hadn’t been in such bad form then they would surely have been pipped by now.
It is a big month for Frank Lampard's side as they play Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in consecutive home games that could have a decisive impact on the race to secure a top-four place this season. Following those games, it's the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 clash against Bayern Munich, again at Stamford Bridge.
To say that the London side need to be at their very best in these coming games is an understatement. But it is not only Chelsea who need to buckle up and have a good finish to the season.
United have been blowing hot and cold throughout this season, but mostly cold. They stumble every time they gain any kind of momentum. Lack of consistency and creative flash is the reason why the Red Devils are 8th in the table, 6 points behind the fourth spot.
Chelsea vs Manchester United Head-to-Head:
It is safe to say that both the teams haven't been getting the results they so desperately want. Chelsea have drawn back-to-back games against Arsenal and Leicester. Both games produced 2-2 score lines in which Chelsea scored first. Manchester United were held to a draw with Wolves in their last outing to make it three Premier League matches without a win.
These two sides have met twice this season and Manchester United won both the games. A league cup game at the Bridge which ended 2-1 in favour of Manchester United and a 4-0 home victory for the reds in Lampard's first game in charge of Chelsea.
Chelsea form guide: D-W-D-L-W
Manchester United form guide: D-W-W-L-L
Chelsea vs Manchester United Team News:
Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic is set to be available for Lampard following a lengthy lay-off. The American produced some dazzling displays in his short time in the Premier League, including a hat trick against Burnley.
His fitness is still a concern and he might have to settle for a place on the bench. Chelsea graduate Mason Mount impressed against Leicester and looks like he will play the #10 role against Manchester United. Ruben Loftus-Cheek remains ruled out with injury.
For the team from Manchester, Nemanja Matic is available after serving his one-match suspension and will likely be selected in the starting XI to play against his old side. Both Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are close to full fitness and could be shock starters for United. Anthony Martial, who scored a brace at Stamford Bridge last season, will lead the line for the away side. With 4 goals against Chelsea, this season Marcus Rashford will, of course, be a big miss for the Red Devils.
Chelsea vs Manchester United Predicted XI:
Chelsea vs Manchester United Prediction
A Manchester United midfield without Pogba and McTominay looks very weak and Chelsea with the likes of Jorginho, Kante and Kovacic should be able to win the midfield battle. United's strength lies in counter-attacking and they have the pace and incision to create havoc against a leaky Chelsea defence.
A game where Chelsea will be looking to boss the midfield while Manchester United will look to counter with the pace of Daniel James and Anthony Martial.
Nothing can be said when it comes to these two teams. Ole and his side have a great record against the top six sides while Chelsea have struggled against such oppositions. Both teams are in poor form and have been inconsistent throughout this season.
But with Pogba and McTominay doubtful for the game and the absence of Rashford, Chelsea have an upper hand in this game.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United