Football Predictions

Man Utd vs Chelsea predictions, preview & expected XIs

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:43, 25 April 2019

In potentially the biggest game left in the Premier League season, Manchester United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford this weekend.

The Red Devils know only a win against the Blues will keep their slim top-four hopes alive after losing their past two matches, while Chelsea have been given renewed hope despite an underwhelming season.

Read on for Manchester United vs Chelsea live stream options, team news, predicted XIs, stats and TV channel info.

When is Man Utd vs Chelsea?

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Old Trafford

Date: Sunday, 28 April

Kick-off: 4:30 PM BST

Where can I watch live?

UK residents can watch Manchester United’s game against Chelsea on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, channels 401 and 402 respectively on Sky, and channels 501 and 502 respectively for Virgin Media users.

Head-to-head

The last time these two met in the league, Ross Barkley scored a late equaliser to rescue a point and prevent Jose Mourinho from getting one over his former side.

That was the 50th draw between Manchester United and Chelsea, with the Red Devils having the advantage in wins with 78 to the Blues’ 54.

Man Utd wins: 78 Draws: 50 Chelsea wins: 54

Match preview

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge of Manchester United in December, they were in sixth place and 11 points behind the top four. Now, they remain sixth but are just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea going into Sunday’s game.

However, at the same time, should United lose they can all-but kiss the Champions League goodbye, falling six points behind the Blues with just two games left and an inferior goal difference.

As a result of poor form, including seven defeats in his last nine games across all competitions, Solskjaer’s ability to manage Manchester United has been called into question. The Norwegian’s initial positive impact seems so long ago, with United managing just three goals in six games across April.

On the other side of things, Chelsea find themselves in a position not many expected them to be a few months back, now in control of their top four destiny. But fans are still unhappy with the job Maurizio Sarri is doing, as he continues to struggle to implement his style of football at Stamford Bridge.

Though a win over Manchester United may not bring a complete turnaround, qualifying for the Champions League could spark some forgiveness.

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Can Sarri overcome big-game hoodoo?

For Chelsea to remain in control of their top-four destiny, the Blues will have to do something they haven’t done this season.

Despite the Blues sitting in fourth, Maurizio Sarri’s men have seriously struggled against their Big Six rivals, winning just three of their nine games so far. Only Tottenham and Manchester United have a worse record this season.

But all three of the Blues wins and their two draws against Big Six sides this season have come at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea yet to even get a point away from home against Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham.

In their four defeats so far, Chelsea have scored just one goal and conceded 13 goals, including six against Manchester City.

But it’s not just a Sarri problem. After winning the first big game of last season, a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in August 2017, the Blues managed just two points away to Big Six sides for the remainder of the campaign under Antonio Conte.

And Chelsea have continuously struggled at Old Trafford in the Premier League, last winning away to Manchester United in 2013, losing two and drawing three of the five games since.

Who will finish in the top four?

Do Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal actually want to finish in the top four this season?

While Tottenham look set to secure third, the three sides left challenging for fourth appear to be going about it in a very polite way.

After both Arsenal and Manchester United lost last weekend, Chelsea were given the chance to take control of the race for the top four when they faced Burnley on Monday. But the Blues could only manage a draw at home, opening up the chance for one of Arsenal or United to take control, with the pair having games in hand.

But, once again, Arsenal and United failed to take this opportunity, losing their games in hand to Wolves and Manchester City respectively. As a result, Chelsea remain fourth, one point clear of Arsenal and three of United.

That makes this weekend’s game vital in deciding fourth spot. Should Chelsea win, they will kill United’s hopes and keep ahead of Arsenal who face Leicester City on Sunday.

A United win would see them draw level with Chelsea but could open up the gap for the Gunners to take fourth, should they beat Leicester, while a draw could do for the Blues if Arsenal slip up.

After this weekend’s action, Chelsea have two tricky games to end the Premier League, facing FA Cup finalists Watford and Leicester City, while also navigating a Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Manchester United finish the season with what should be straight forward games against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City, who could be relegated by the final day of the season.

And Arsenal face Brighton and Burnley, as well as their Europa League semi-final tie against Valencia.

Team news

Manchester United are still without Phil Jones in defence, meaning Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling are likely to be the club’s centre-back pairing. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also expected to recall Scott McTominay, who missed the defeat to Man City in midweek.

Meanwhile, Chelsea will be without Callum Hudson-Odoi who had to undergo season-ending surgery on an Achilles injury picked up during the Blues’ draw with Burnley on Monday. In that same game, N’Golo Kante also had to go off with an injury but could still be in contention to face Manchester United along with Antonio Rudiger.

Predicted Line-ups

1. Five at the back dumped

Against Manchester City on Wednesday, Solskjaer opted for a back five which did frustrate the opposition’s attack, but ultimately fell through due to tiredness.

But against Chelsea, United should have no problems with a more traditional four-man defence, with the Blues struggling to create in front of goal. As such, Matteo Darmian will likely drop out given Ashley Young’s previous success in stopping Eden Hazard.

A return to midfield for Scott McTominay sees Fred also drop out while Anthony Martial may get the nod to exploit Chelsea’s defensive problems down both wings.

Predicted Man Utd XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Matic, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial.

2. Pedro to replace injured Hudson-Odoi

Aside from the dropped points, Callum Hudson-Odoi’s season-ending injury was the biggest blow in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday.

Then, the teenager was replaced by Pedro and Maurizio Sarri will likely make the same call on Sunday with Willian not fully fit.

In midfield, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been Chelsea’s best attacking outlet and should continue, with N’Golo Kante overcoming his injury problem to start the important game.

Predicted Chelsea XI (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Christensen, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard.

3. Darmian to start back-to-back games

Although the general consensus is that Manchester United will use a back-four against Chelsea, the Evening Standard believe Ashley Young will be the one to drop out.

That gives Matteo Darmian his second consecutive start and only seventh league appearance of the season. The Italian didn’t do too badly against City but his lack of communication with Smalling cost United for Sane’s goal.

Elsewhere, Romelu Lukaku is expected to start against his former team, forming an attacking trio with Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford.

Evening Standard‘s predicted Man Utd XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, McTominay, Pogba; Lingard, Lukaku, Rashford .

4. No place for Kante

While our own predicted XI sees Kante overcome his injury concerns, the Express believe Sunday will be too soon.

Instead, Ross Barkley has been predicted to start on the right side of Chelsea’s three-man midfield, getting the nod ahead of Mateo Kovacic who replaced Kante against Burnley.

The Express have also gone for Pedro to replace Hudson-Odoi, with Gonzalo Higuain starting ahead of Olivier Giroud – who will be needed for Chelsea’s Europa League exploits.

EXPRESS’ PREDICTED CHELSEA XI

Squawka Prediction

Chelsea are in control of their own destiny, but as we have already seen this season, the Blues struggle to take their opportunities. Coupled with a poor away record against big teams, this should be a United win. Man Utd 2-0 Chelsea.