Chelsea vs Manchester United match build up. Ross Barkley is fit but Ethan Ampadu is ruled out by a knee injury sustained during Wales’ friendly defeat by Spain. Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is expected to recover from a groin problem and extend his ever-present league record this season.
Manchester United’s Ander Herrera is likely to return from a three-match absence with an ankle injury. United will assess the fitness of Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Scott McTominay and Diogo Dalot. Jesse Lingard is not expected to recover from a groin injury in time to face Chelsea.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@SteveBowercomm: What Jose Mourinho would have ideally wanted after his team’s dramatic comeback against Newcastle was another home game in quick succession to try and build some much-needed momentum.
Instead, after a fortnight’s wait, he has a return to Stamford Bridge, where he has lost on every visit since he left Chelsea for the second time.
It will be fascinating to see if Manchester United can use the remarkable second-half performance at Old Trafford in any way to dent Maurizio Sarri’s impressive start to his tenure in west London.
Chelsea are seven points better off under the Italian than they were 12 months ago and have implemented the new coach’s philosophy instantly.
The first managerial meeting of Messrs Sarri and Mourinho is full of intrigue.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri: “I’m very happy with the results but we need to improve, and we can improve.
“We’ve had no time to work; I had eight players at the beginning of August and now we’ve started to play every three days so it’s very difficult to work, improve the team and improve the players.
“We need to improve our performances in the defensive phase. At the moment we are giving the opponents too many opportunities.”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “For me, it’s another game. Would I celebrate like crazy my team’s goal at Stamford Bridge or my team’s victory? I don’t think so.
“I think I would try always to control myself and to respect the stadium and the supporters that were my supporters for many years.
“It’s a match I want to do well for my players, for my team, for my supporters. I’m 100% Manchester United – no space for anything more than respect.”
I am going to go for a 1-1 here. Yes, I know – a big game and I go for a 1-1, what a shock.
But the reason I see it being so tight is that I think we will see Jose Mourinho park the bus, because he will not want to go back to Chelsea and be embarrassed.
- Chelsea’s solitary defeat in the past 16 Premier League meetings at Stamford Bridge came in October 2012 when they had two players sent off (W10, D5, L1).
- Manchester United haven’t won a competitive fixture away to Chelsea in six attempts since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, drawing once and losing five times.
- United have lost 18 Premier League games against Chelsea, more than versus any other side. The Blues and Brighton are the only clubs to have won more Premier League matches against United than they have lost.
- The Red Devils could win consecutive league matches against Chelsea for the first time since 2011.
- Chelsea are vying to remain unbeaten in their opening nine Premier League games for only the third time, having done so in their title-winning seasons of 2005-06 and 2014-15.
- The Blues have won 10 and lost just one of their past 15 Premier League matches.
- They have earned eight points from their past eight games against last season’s top-four sides, failing to score more than once in any of those fixtures.
- Eight of Chelsea’s 18 league goals this season have been scored after the 75th minute.
- Maurizio Sarri’s side have kept four clean sheets in their last six games in all competitions.
- Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is the division’s seven-goal leading scorer this season and has also provided three assists.
- Defeat on Saturday would ensure they equal the club’s lowest points tally after nine matches of a Premier League season: 13 in 2014-15.
- A loss would also be United’s fourth in their opening nine league games – that last happened in 1990.
- They have kept just one league clean sheet this season and conceded 14 goals; only three teams have fared worse.
- Manchester United have lost three of their last six Premier League away games, winning two and drawing one.
- The Red Devils have lost eight of their last 13 league games in London, as many defeats as in their previous 39 visits to the capital.
- Jose Mourinho has lost all three competitive away fixtures as Manchester United manager against Chelsea, by an aggregate score of 6-0. His only other match as a visiting manager at Stamford Bridge was Internazionale’s 1-0 Champions League victory in 2010.
- Romelu Lukaku has played in 18 Premier League matches involving Chelsea – 10 for the Blues, eight against – with his only goal coming for Manchester United in a 2-1 win at Old Trafford on 25 February this year.
Source: BBC News
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