As one of the classic Premier League duals, Chelsea and Manchester United tend to produce exciting games. Indeed, with United arriving in London unbeaten in 19 away games in the league, they will be taking on a Chelsea team who have started to make clean sheets fashionable. Four in a row, including a landmark clean sheet in Madrid against Atletico Madrid in a 1-0 win, leaves the Blues looking resilient for the first time in a while.
Can a confident, on-form United break down their resistance and continue their long unbeaten run?
This should be a good game to watch thanks to the impressive run of form that Chelsea are on at the moment. The Blues look strong and have been unbeaten in 10 of their last 11 home games in the league. On top of that, the aforementioned trio of clean sheets can give them confidence that, since Thomas Tuchel arrived, they have found a defensive zeal paired with offensive strength.
The squad also looks as fit as it has been in a while, with Tuchel likely to have much of his main squad to pick from here.
United will arrive in London knowing they need to find a high-performance level after a UEFA Europa League tie. That they are 4-0 up and are at home in the second leg, though, should take the pressure off the Red Devils in terms of scheduling.
United look good and have been unbeaten in 19 away games in the league which is a club record. On top of that, they have made scoring regularly away from home a habit, with 4 last week against a quality Real Sociedad team. United, then, should arrive at this game in good form and relatively healthy.
This should be a tough match for both sides, with a lot of quality on show for both teams recently. Chelsea, though, are likely to be the more tired of the two. Their trip to Spain resulted in a gruelling, challenging match against arguably the best side in Europe at the moment. Meanwhile, United will be able to play a rotated team and face an injury-ridden Sociedad team at home.
As such, that lack of effort midweek might allow United to make up for the travel and the two days difference in the time provided for rest and recovery. Expect an intense match with plenty of aggression on both sides, and with both teams chasing their own ambitions.
With 13 games to go, United are looking at a forlorn title chase while Chelsea are just six points behind. Win here, and they leave United worrying about making the UEFA Champions League once again. Lose here, though, and their own UCL participation becomes a question once again.
Both sides need something from the game, and United especially; two wins in their last six in the league leaves them with no room for error any longer if they wish to stay on the coattails of Manchester City. For Chelsea, a win is essential to keep the feelgood factor high.
Chelsea, though, might just have that extra bit between the teeth after such a confidence-boosting win in Spain.
Result: 2-1 Chelsea
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