3 Key Battles Which Could Decide the Huge Clash Between Chelsea and Manchester United

The late kick-off on Sunday afternoon sees Manchester United head south to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. 

United haven’t won in the last two visits of Chelsea and will be hoping for a change this time round. Circumstances are different with United ahead of the Blues’ currently but a victory for Conte’s side will bring them even closer to the pack. 

Here are three key battles where the game could be won and lost at the weekend.

1. Cesar Azpilicueta vs Romelu Lukaku

In recent weeks, Antonio Conte has decided to play the Spaniard in the wing-back role due to his height. However, after a disastrous defensive performance against Roma, the Italian is likely to revert back to Chelsea’s usual back three. 

Conte’s fears will be targeted as Romelu Lukaku will look to be be a nuisance for Azpilicueta with the Belgian going to be easily able to power past him the majority of the time. 

The powerhouse has netted seven times, and with the Chelsea defence being a liability in the past few games, they will need to shore up if not United could have a field day going forward. 

2. Nemanja Matic vs Tiemoue Bakayoko

Return of the old against the replacement. 

Since Matic’s arrival to United it has enabled the Red Devils to play a completely different system with the Serbian sitting back allowing the other midfielders to go forward. Meanwhile, the man who he was replaced with at the Bridge, Bakayoko hasn’t had the best of performances in recent weeks. 

The midfield has been an area of weakness for the Blues and both will need to keep their discipline as this fixture has seen a fair few red cards in the recent meetings between both sides. 

Bakayoko needs to show his power, if not Matic is going to have a stroll in the park.

3. David De Gea vs Thibaut Courtois

The battle of the goalkeepers. 

Sunday’s game won’t bring many chances and with the few opportunities either side get it is crucial that the pair step up to the plate. 

As we have seen before, one goal changes the game. Tactics can go out of the window and the losing team will have to attack. The longer De Gea and Courtois can keep their team in the game, the more confidence they will gain. 

De Gea is on top of Courtois right now with double the clean sheets of the Chelsea man but with this clash being rather significant, will the Chelsea of old turn up?

Let’

Picking the Best Potential Chelsea Lineup to Face Manchester United on Sunday

?Chelsea face Manchester United in a clash where the title could be won and lost so early.on.

An away win would mean the Blues go seven adrift of the Red Devils but a victory for Antonio Conte would mean they would go just one point behind. 

Here is how the home side could lineup on Sunday. 

Goalkeeper

  • Courtois

    Courtois13

?The Belgian has been so important for Chelsea this year, and will need to be on top form to keep United out on Sunday.

Defence

  • Azpilicueta

    Azpilicueta28

  • Luiz

    Luiz30

  • Cahill

    Cahill24

Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to switch back to his preferred position of centre-back after playing as a wing-back against Roma on Wednesday. 

Antonio Conte has confirmed Gary Cahill will start on the left side of defence for the Blues. 

David Luiz will again be strapped up for Sunday’s game.?

Midfield

  • Zappacosta

    Zappacosta21

  • Bakayoko

    Bakayoko14

  • Kanté

    Kanté7

  • Alonso

    Alonso3

N’Golo Kante has returned to full training and the Blues are going to make a late call on the midfielder’s participation. He is key to the home side so Conte will hope he is almost match fit just like Morata was, so he is able to start him. 

Fellow Frenchman Tiemoue Bakayoko should start alongside him to keep it tight however Drinkwater is pushing for a start after a string of poor performances from both Fabregas and Bakakyoko.

Davide Zappacosta is expected to return to wing-back a after being dropped during the week. Alonso is set to continue on the left with no other competition to rival his spot. 

Forwards

  • Pedro

    Pedro11

  • Morata

    Morata9

  • Hazard

    Hazard10

?The same front three is expected to start together which has played the last two games. 

Bournemouth couldn’t handle this attacking trio but the Blues failed to put their chances away. That is something which is going to need to improve as there won’t be many chances coming around so ruthlessness is important.

Eden Hazard has produced moments of brilliance, and they will be hoping he does the same on Sunday with United in fine form and so hard to break down. 

Let’

Young Chelsea Defender Andreas Christensen Targeted by Long-Term Admirers Inter

?Internazionale are allegedly set to make a move to sign 21-year-old defender Andreas Christensen. However, Chelsea will not sanction the sale of the Denmark international in the January transfer window.

Christensen has been on the books at Chelsea since his move from Brondby’s youth setup in 2012. However, the Dane spend two seasons on loan with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach, making 82 appearances for Die Fohlen across the 2015/16 and 2016/17 campaigns.

Following the defender’s impressive loan spell in Germany, he has started to find regular game time back at Stamford Bridge, making 11 appearances for Chelsea across all competitions so far this season.

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-MAN CITY

However, Christensen’s performances have impressed more than just Antonio Conte, with a host of clubs taking note of the Danish youngster, including Inter Milan, as reported by ?Calcio Mercato.

According to the Italian football news outlet, Inter Milan director Piero Ausilio has been a long time admirer of Christensen however, Conte blocked an approach from the Nerazzuri in the summer and he’ll do once again in the January transfer window as the Italian wants to keep the defender at Chelsea.

Despite his young age, Christensen is already an experienced defender, having faced off against the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus before his 20th birthday, helping mould him into an imposing presence at the back.

[embedded content]

With competition for places in the Chelsea back line highly contested, it may be a while until Christensen establishes himself as a regular fixture in the Blues’ first team. However, as his development continues, Christensen looks to be growing into a top class defender.

Let’

Cesc Fabregas Admits He Still Has Sleepless Nights Over Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea Sacking

It has been two years since Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea, but Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas admits he still has trouble sleeping sometimes when he mulls over his old boss’ dismissal.

Before Mourinho was eventually sacked by Chelsea after a string of weak performances in an attempt to defend their Premier League title in 2015/16, a rumour circled that some of the players – including Fabregas – had plotted behind Mourinho’s back to try to get a manager to come in. 

After the sacking of the self-proclaimed ‘Special One, Fabregas was labelled a ‘rat’ by some of the Blues’ fans and was even booed over the following weeks. 

AS Roma v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

Fabregas said, in an interview with the BBC’s Premier League Show, regarding Mourinho’s Chelsea sacking: “I still wonder myself because it was such a shame. You go to bed sometimes and you think of many things and sometimes you cannot sleep.

Still sometimes it bothers me because I could look from the outside as a fan and think, ‘these guys are not even trying’. But we just forgot to play football.

You felt that those six months we were nowhere close to what we really were just a few months before. But it happened and I felt bad for it.”

Despite what happened Fabregas says that he remains close to Mourinho and revealed that he was the manager he felt the greatest connection to, other than his former mentor Arsene Wenger.

We still talk today. He is probably the manager that I have had the best feeling and connection for. Apart from Arsene, the one I have the most contact with is Jose.”

Let’

Belgian Starlet Charly Musonda Set to Leave Chelsea in January Over Lack of Opportunities

Acadamy graduate Charly Musonda has told Chelsea he intends to leave the club in the January window, according to the ?Mirror.

Antonio Conte is said to be concerned at the decision and contests that Chelsea are desperately short of numbers and quality at Stamford Bridge. Despite this, the Belgian prodigy is seemingly decided, after growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of minutes provided by the Italian – making just four appearances this season, two being in the less-esteemed League Cup.  

The relationship between Musonda and Conte could become increasingly strained as Chelsea seem somewhat reluctant to facilitate a move for the 21-year-old forward. 

Chelsea v Everton - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

The pair already had an indifferent rapport, after the youngster took to Instagram to display his discontent at Chelsea regarding game time last month.

Over a black screen the post read: “You sacrifice, you work hard, harder, you give more than what’s expected, and often more than you can, because you love what you do and clearly more than you should and what do you get back? Literally nothing… done.”
?

“However, with this being said I will continue with same dedication and commitment to this great game.”

It’s safe to assume things wont end on the best of terms between the Belgian and the Chelsea contingency when he does eventually get his move, especially if the forward swaps the Blue of West London for the Red of North London, with Arsenal reportedly interested.

However the recent ascension of 17-year-old winger Reiss Nelson through the Gunners own ranks, could put Arsene Wenger off trying to bring Musonda to the club.

Let’