The much-anticipated battle between Chelsea and Manchester United commences this Sunday evening, when Jose Mourinho’s side travel to Old Trafford to line up against Van Gaal’s new look Manchester United.
With just 12 points in 8 games so far, United will look to salvage at least a point against the league leaders, to keep their top 4 hope alive. Mourinho, on the other hand, looks concerned bit by the recent injury and suspension crisis; but with more than capable replacements available at his disposal, here’s how he is expected to line up the Blues against the Red Devils:
GK – THIBAUT COURTOIS
After a rest in the midweek UEFA Champions League game against NK Maribor, Thibaut Courtois will be back in action on the weekend at Old Trafford in a quest of another clean sheet.
RB – BRANISLAV IVANOVIC
After settling himself as Mourinho’s favorite with a series of brilliant performances, the Serbian tank will face his most difficult test of the season against Di Maria when he starts tomorrow at his RB position.
LB – FILIPE LUIS
With Cesar Azpilicueta suspended after he was red carded against Palace, Filipe Luis would be the obvious starter at the LB spot. After a brilliant performance against NK Maribor, Luis would like to continue his form when he lines up against United.
CB – JOHN TERRY and GARY CAHILL
After a commanding performance in the midweek, which saw our captain score a wonderful long run counter-attack goal and maintain a clean sheet, Terry will be back in action on the weekend when he comes up against the dangerous Radamel Falcao.
While, after being rested in favor of Kurt Zouma, Gary Cahill will be back in the starting line-up to partner John Terry at the heart of our defence tomorrow.
CM – CESC FABREGAS and NEMANJA MATIC
The first two names on the team sheet will definitely start in their usual CM spot up at the Old Trafford tomorrow.
With 7 Premier League assists, Cesc Fabregas has been a steal for the Blues while, Nemanja Matic has been a rock at the defensive midfield spot. No doubt these two start.
LW – EDEN HAZARD
After ripping apart the Maribor’s defense, the dribbling magician would come up against Rafael when he starts against United on Sunday. There will be no hiding for the United defense if the Belgian continues his ominous form tomorrow.
RW – WILLIAN
The Brazilian was as effective on the wing as Hazard against NK Maribor and there is absolutely no doubt that he starts tomorrow as a decent option upfront and more importantly to track back and check Di Maria’s run on the wing.
CAM – OSCAR
Another Brazilian who has been in a scintillating form for the Blues with tackling, intercepting and creating chances literally all over the pitch. If Oscar continues his good form against Van Gaal’s side tomorrow, there would be no solace for the United team.
STRIKER – DIEGO COSTA
With Mourinho confirming that the striker has a small chance to feature at the Old Trafford, we could be in for a goal fest tomorrow. With 9 goals so far in the blue shirt, there’s no doubt the striker starts against United if he can prove his fitness before the game.
Edited By: Harshal Ahire