In a match that is crucial for both the clubs, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United prepare to host his former club Chelsea in a Premier League clash on Sunday.
While top-placed Chelsea will seek to keep a tight grip on the 2016-17 title, United not only go into the match with the intention of seeking a revenge but also to keep their top four hopes alive in order to qualify for the Champions League.
The last time the two sides met each other in the league was in October. Back then Pedro, Eden Hazard, Gary Cahill and N’Golo Kante humiliated Man United 4-0 at the Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have been in fine form since then and recently beat Bournemouth and Manchester City last week to take a four point lead over Tottenham to sit at the top of the league with 75 points.
Meanhwhile, Man United have just come back after being held in a 1-1 draw in Belgium against Anderlecht in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie on Thursday. However, they enjoyed a good outing in the Premier League last weekend as they beat Sunderland 3-0. They currently sit at the sixth position (57), holding the same points as Everton and trailing fourth placed Liverpool by six points.
Mourinho on the other will continue to have headaches as his squad continues to deal with injuries. Juan Mata is already ruled put for the rest of the season after undergoing a surgery on his groin injury. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also out of action due to toe and knee injury respectively. Wayne Rooney, who sustained an ankle injury, is doubtful after missing out the Europa League quarter-final clash on Thursday. David de Gea, however, is expected to return after skipping two matches.
However, it will not be an easy task for Antonio Conte’s men as they look to break the Red Devils’ 21-game unbeaten run in the league. Conte will have the important task of choosing his players from a completely fit squad – and deciding whether to partner Nemanja Matic with Kante or playing Cesc Fabregas in midfield. A lot will also depend on what formation he chooses to play in such an inportant game away from home. Whether he sticks to his 3-4-3 or tinkers with some other formation.