CHELSEA v Manchester United: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: 7th February 2016
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT

Today’s late game brings Manchester United to Stamford Bridge. Not their favoured ground with only one win from the last 13 visits but at least they come off the back of a convincing win against Stoke.
Chelsea, 13th in the table at the start of the weekend, might feel less assured from previous home form against United given we couldn’t get more than a point at Watford last time out, in one of the most lacklustre games from a season of many.
Whilst unbeaten under Guus Hiddink, realistically we’ve only turned in 3 wins and still don’t look up for the fight. Talking of fights, our last five meetings with United have produced four red cards so you’d have to assume Diego Costa will make some headlines today – as could former Chelsea man Juan Mata, without a goal or assist in 12 games is well overdue a standout game.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink says “This is a big match. Big clubs through the years, both Manchester United and us like to compete for the title. They have underperformed and we are getting back on track a little bit. Of course I would like some more victories instead of the unbeaten draws, but the team is step by step more stable and now we hope to go to in a beautiful spring time.”
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal meanwhile, says “I have the feeling that when we shall beat Chelsea – and that is not simple, that is very difficult, since Guus Hiddink has been there they don’t lose any more – I think our competition, our league is starting again. That is very important. The competition is not yet finished, not for Manchester United or the other teams. We have the feeling, and that’s because we are winning twice in a row and with sparkling football – with goals and clean sheets, against opponents who were in great form.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Falcao (groin) and Remy (calf) remain out, Pedro (groin) is doubtful. Miazga and Pato aren’t ready lack match fitness but Eden Hazard should start.
For United, Rojo (shoulder), Schweinsteiger (knee), Valencia (foot) and Shaw (leg) all remain out. Jones (ankle) is doubtful.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Azpilicueta,Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic, Mikel, Fabregas, Willan, Hazard, Oscar, Costa
MAN UNITED (Possible line-up): De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Martial, Rooney

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 1-0 Man United (18th April 2015)

CURRENT FORM
CHELSEA: DWDDWD
MAN UNITED: DWDWLW

OTHER STUFF
~ Chelsea could draw four successive Premier League home games for the first time since the 80s
~ Defeat would leave United with their lowest points tally at this stage of a Premier League season.
~ Chelsea are unbeaten in eight league games – the longest streak in the top flight.
~ Chelsea are unbeaten in their last nine league and cup games against United
~ United have won one Premier League game at Stamford Bridge since 2002
~ A win would give Chelsea their 50th win against Manchester United in all competitions

PREDICTION
Manchester United don’t have a good record at Stamford Bridge historically. In the current season meanwhile, Chelsea are hitting the sort of form we haven’t seen since the 80s. Whilst unbeaten so far under Hiddink though, there appears to be a bit of a pattern emerging: WDDWDDWD_, so you can guess where this prediction is going.

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