Football News

Manchester United vs. Chelsea: Blues defence struggling for fitness

Manchester United host Chelsea on Sunday at Old Trafford. The two Premier League rivals are fighting for a place in the top four and Champions League qualification.

Embed from Getty Images

Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s Red Devils are coming off of a 2-0 loss to Manchester United in midweek while Chelsea drew with Burnley on Monday night. The Blues sit in fourth place, three points ahead of sixth-place Manchester United.

Neither side is in particularly good form with Manchester United tasting defeat in seven of their last nine games in all competitions. Chelsea are winless in their last two Premier League fixtures.

With a Champions League qualification place on the line, injuries could dictate the final result.

Manchester United – Injuries

Five players have been reported as injured following Manchester United’s loss to Manchester City on Wednesday. Phil Jones suffered a knock in training and is a major doubt for Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford.

Scott McTominay is due to undergo a late fitness test. He failed a fitness test prior to the Manchester Derby but may be included in the squad on Sunday.

Ander Herrera is expected to return to the starting XI after being sidelined with a hamstring injury. The Spaniard’s absence has left a hole in the midfield the likes of Andreas Pereira were unable to fill on Wednesday.

Herrera is set for a free transfer in the summer to Paris Saint-Germain.

Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia round out Manchester United’s injuries.

Chelsea – Injuries

Maurizio Sarri is expected to have Eden Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek ready for Sunday. However, defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante will most likely miss the match due to injury. Kante is carrying a rib injury that will make it difficult to play.

There is good news for the Blues as centre-back Antonio Rudiger may return following a knee injury. The German suffered the issue against Liverpool and missed out on Chelsea’s Europa League second leg win over Sparta Praha and their draw to Burnley on Monday night.

Marcos Alonso is suffering from a gluteal injury while Callum Hudson-Odoi ruptured his Achilles on Monday night and is out for the foreseeable future.

Manchester United have played Chelsea twice this season already. Their first Premier League meeting ended in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge before Manchester United won their FA Cup encounter in west London, 2-0.