By Dave Marshall
Following the international break, the focus turns back to Manchester United, who travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday to face Chelsea. The Blues are on a high at the moment and will be looking to cast more misery on Jose Mourinho, who was once a West London favorite. The Portuguese manager is under immense pressure at Old Trafford and will be looking to remind everyone of his brilliance against his former side, who have looked very impressive under the new management of Maurizio Sarri.
United won against Newcastle last time out at Old Trafford and will be looking to kickstart their season with a result at a stadium where they have struggled in recent years. We take a look at the 11 players that may be tasked with the responsibility of bringing Chelsea back down to earth.
David De Gea has not been at his inspirational best this term, though the inconsistency of the defenders in Man United’s backline has affected him to a great extent. But one can hardly argue that on his day, he remains the best shot stopper in the Premier League.
Luke Shaw is expected to feature after missing the international games with England. The left back is likely to be flanked on the other side of defence by Ashley Young, who continues to defy the odds even at 33. In the heart of the defence, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof will be looking to build on their burgeoning relationship at the back but will need to be at the top of their game to repel Chelsea’s impressive attack.
Nemanja Matic remains a big doubt for the game against his former side but Mourinho may call on Marouane Fellaini to add physicality against Chelsea and do a good job on Jorginho, the Italian orchestrator of the Blues midfield. Paul Pogba and Brazilian International Fred are well expected to be deployed in the middle of the park as they offer a good mix of physicality, panache and creativity.
Jose Mourinho is poised to name an attacking trident for the lunchtime kickoff at the Bridge. On the left side of attack, Alexis Sanchez should get the start to build on his recent upturn in form that saw him score the winner against Newcastle. On the right, Anthony Martial should get the nod ahead of Marcus Rashford while Romelu Lukaku will be looking to score his first goal at Stamford Bridge against his former side.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Fellaini, Fred, Pogba; Sanchez, Martial, Lukaku.
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One of the pitfalls of being employed in sports media is that sometimes it’s easy to get too wrapped up in the work of providing coverage of sporting events and forget to enjoy the sport itself. Another is that if your work involves forecasting results, it can almost be frustrating when things don’t go the […]