Manchester United vs. Chelsea: The Battle of… Giants?

When Manchester United and Chelsea collide, it is, usually, more than just a game – it’s a saga steeped in history, pride, and a quest for dominance. However, this season has painted a different picture as both footballing powerhouses find themselves navigating turbulent waters in the Premier League. Uncharacteristically absent from the upper echelons of the table, both United and Chelsea are grappling to secure their footing, hovering well outside the realms of European qualification spots. United find themselves in 7th place as they manage to scrape by the smaller teams and then get a hiding from the better ones. Chelsea are in 10th place. They have had a mixed season. They’re sort of the Robin Hood of the Premier League, taking from the ‘rich’ and giving to the ‘poor’. They’ve lost to Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Brentford but have taken points from Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool as well as thumping Tottenham. They’ll be looking to continue their giant slayings against United…


Team News:

Manchester United are really in the wars at the moment. They are still missing centre-back Lisandro Martinez, defensive midfielder Casemiro and midfielder Christian Eriksen, all key reasons for United’s success last year.

Tyrell Malacia, Amad Diallo and Jonny Evans are also out. Ex-Chelsea star Mason Mount is also recovering from a calf problem, so it is unlikely that he will feature against his former employers.

Manchester United midfielder Mason Mount used to play for Chelsea

Chelsea have some positive news in that Reece James and Marc Cucurella have both served bans and are available to face the Red Devils.

Malo Gusto, Cristopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia are all doubts whilst Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana and Carney Chukwuemeka are confirmed absentees.

Key Players:

Manchester United: Kobbie Mainoo

Manchester United’s midfield lacks control. It is full of midfielders who either hide from the ball or treat it as if it is a hot potato. Not Kobbie Mainoo. The 18-year-old Manchester-born centre-midfielder is the embodiment of composure. Placed straight into the middle of the park against Everton in front of a hostile Goodison Park, Mainoo looked like the most experienced player on the pitch. It was his first Premier League start. He completed 83% of his 46 passes and it always felt as if he was entirely in control of the tempo of the game. Against Newcastle, he completed 92% of his passes. Manchester United fans have been crying out for a midfielder who gets on the ball and controls the game with precise passes. Here he is.

Chelsea: Enzo Fernandez

Enzo Fernandez embodies the essence of skill and finesse. His flair for precision passes, innate creativity, and knack for altering the game’s tempo make him a formidable force for the Blues. His two goals against Brighton won the game for Chelsea. He has an 89% pass accuracy across the whole season and has been a dominant force since he signed in January from Benfica. His long passing is exceptional and without him, Chelsea would be in a far worse position than they currently themselves in. If they are to get a result at Old Trafford, expect Enzo to play a huge part in it.

In the last six games between the sides, there has not been a lot to divide the pair. United have won one, whilst the other five have ended with honours even.

  • Manchester United have lost just one of the last 13 meetings between the pair.
  • The last time Chelsea won at Old Trafford was 2013
  • Chelsea have scored an average of two goals in their Premier League away games this season,

Chelsea are the slight favourites to win, priced at 7/5 on bet365. The odds of a draw is 12/5. United are the underdogs, at 19/10 on bet365.

By Nicky Helfgott / @NickyH3lfgott on Twitter (X)

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