Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s United look to have turned a corner over the past week after a difficult start to the new season, with a 4-1 win at Newcastle followed by Marcus Rashford’s late heroics in Paris.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is desperately trying to strike the right balance between defence and attack with a six-goal thriller against Southampton followed by a stalemate versus Sevilla.
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Frank Lampard should have a more straightforward job in terms of his lineup, but that defence has been a real issue…
(4-2-3-1): Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner
Here’s how we see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI shaping up today – though he did spring a few surprises in Paris, so there could well be more today…
(3-5-2): De Gea; Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Telles; Greenwood, Rashford
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been ruled out – but that does not mean Petr Cech will play a part. Kepa has been carrying a shoulder injury that means he will not be able to make the bench, with Willy Caballero set to be back up to Edouard Mendy.
Lampard made the surprise decision to include 38-year-old Cech in his 25-man Premier League squad for the season, despite the legendary goalkeeper hanging up his gloves last year.
The Chelsea manager described it as a “no-brainer” – particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. But ahead of today’s trip to United, Lampard said: “Petr Cech’s not coming. At least not in that capacity.
“We have a clean bill of health apart from Kepa, who has a shoulder issue and won’t travel to Manchester.”
Kepa’s absence comes after Lampard confirmed Mendy is now Chelsea’s official No1.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has options at centre-back, with captain Harry Maguire expected to return. Maguire missed the midweek away win over Paris Saint-Germain but scored in the 4-1 thumping of Newcastle last weekend.
In his absence, Axel Tuanzebe excelled in a back three alongside Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw, and Solskjaer could opt for a similar system, or else be forced to decide who partners his returning skipper.
Alex Telles looks likely to keep his place on the left after an impressive debut, while Edinson Cavani could be set to make his. With Anthony Martial suspended, Solskjaer will be relieved to have both the Uruguayan and Mason Greenwood available as attacking options, though both could start on the bench.
Fred and Scott McTominay started in midfield in Paris but Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek are both pushing for inclusions today.
We will bring you all the latest news and build-up to today’s 5:30m BST clash at Old Trafford, while James Robson will be at the Theatre of Dreams for expert match coverage, analysis and reaction.
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Date, time and venue
Manchester United vs Chelsea is scheduled for a 5:30pm BST kick-off on Saturday, October 24, 2020.
The match will be behind closed doors at Old Trafford with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.
How to watch
TV channel: Manchester United vs Chelsea will be shown live on Sky Sports’ Main Event, and is available via Now TV.
Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via SkyGo and the SkyGo app.
Eric Bailly is unavailable after being ruled out for four weeks, while Anthony Martial is still suspended after his red card against Spurs.
Harry Maguire missed United’s win in Paris, so Solskjaer could persist with a back three of Axel Tuanzebe, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw – especially as Phil Jones is not in Solskjaer’s Premier League squad.
Edinson Cavani could be in contention along with Mason Greenwood, while Jesse Lingard is a doubt.
Lampard sounded confident following Chelsea’s draw with Sevilla that Thiago Silva will be fit after picking up a knock in that game.
Man Utd predicted XI: De Gea, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Pogba, Telles, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford
Predicted Chelsea XI: Mendy; James, Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Kante, Jorginho; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner
Prediction: Man United 1-1 Chelsea
Given neither sides’ defence has been particularly impressive this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see both managers look to keep things tight in the early stages.
If an early goal does go in, the game could open up with two of the most promising attacks in the top flight – but a battling draw is more likely at this point.
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