United v Chelsea: Big match preview
After midweek glory in Paris, Manchester United’s Premier League campaign resumes with a mouthwatering game against Chelsea at Old Trafford.
The Blues, like United, finished in the top four last season and, after spending big in the summer, are hoping to mount a title challenge this time around.
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking for his side to build on the recent impressive victories over Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain, against a Chelsea team he has got the better of several times before.
Here’s everything you need to know before Saturday’s big game…
Kick-off in Manchester takes place at 17:30 BST and fans in the UK can watch the match live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football. Supporters can also follow our rolling updates on ManUtd.com and within our Official App, while MUTV will provide live build-up, radio commentary and reaction from 16:25 BST. We’ll then show a rerun of the match in full the following day.
Chelsea go into the match eighth in the Premier League table, seven places and two points ahead of United, although the Londoners have played a game more.
Lampard’s men have had a mixed start to the campaign, beating Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace, losing at home to Liverpool and recording 3-3 draws against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton respectively.
Their run in the Carabao Cup has already been brought to an end, by Tottenham Hotspur, while the Blues’ Champions League campaign got off to a low-key start on Tuesday, with a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge against Europa League winners Sevilla.
The Reds have won five of our last six matches in all competitions, but are yet to taste victory at Old Trafford this season. In fact, a win at the Theatre of Dreams is overdue, the last coming against Austrian side LASK at the beginning of August.
United will be missing Eric Bailly, with the Ivorian now out for three to four weeks with a muscle injury, according to Solskjaer. It remains to be seen whether Harry Maguire, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Jesse Lingard are fit enough to feature – the boss should provide an update in his pre-match press conference on Friday morning. Meanwhile, Anthony Martial is serving the second of a three-match suspension.
For Chelsea, expect new boy Edouard Mendy to start in goal – the summer signing has kept two clean sheets in his first three games for the Blues and Lampard stated this week that he will be the number one going forward. With Hakim Ziyech now recovered from the problem which delayed the start of his Chelsea career, young midfielder Billy Gilmour is the visitors’ only known injury concern, with the Scot set to return to action in November after knee trouble.
ONE TO WATCH
Chelsea added several players during the summer, with Mendy, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell coming in to bolster the backline, and attacking quality added in the shape of Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz. While Werner stole most of the headlines after a stellar season with RB Leipzig, in which he registered 34 goals in 45 appearances, Havertz has arguably taken to life in England quicker than any of the Blues’ other foreign recruits.
The 21-year-old, lauded by some as the ‘golden boy of German football’, already has a Chelsea hat-trick to his name and picked up his first Premier League goal during Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Southampton. An attacking midfielder who can play wide or through the middle, Havertz could cause United problems if left to his own devices at the weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
Although Chelsea emerged victorious during our most recent meeting – July’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final – United have won the other four matches against the Blues during Solskjaer’s managerial tenure, including three at Stamford Bridge. In the corresponding fixture last season, the Reds ran out 4-0 winners on the opening day, courtesy of goals from Marcus Rashford (twice), Anthony Martial and Daniel James.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Lee Betts & Constantine Hatzidakis
Fourth official: Jonathan Moss
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR: Simon Long
FRIDAY 23 OCTOBER
Aston Villa v Leeds United (20:00 BST)
SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER
West Ham United v Manchester City (12:30 BST)
Fulham v Crystal Palace (15:00 BST)
UNITED v Chelsea (17:30 BST)
Liverpool v Sheffield United (20:00 BST)
SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER
Southampton v Everton (14:00 BST)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Newcastle United (16:30 BST)
Arsenal v Leicester City (19:15 BST)
MONDAY 26 OCTOBER
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Bromwich Albion (17:30 BST)
Burnley v Tottenham Hotspur (20:00 BST)