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Match preview: United v Chelsea at Old Trafford

Following two consecutive away games, Manchester United will return to Old Trafford on Sunday for a Premier League blockbuster against rivals Chelsea. Make sure you're ready for the big game by checking out our in-depth preview...

Setting the scene… Both teams come into the game following midweek draws against Spanish opponents Sevilla and Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. United are particularly determined to win after suffering a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle in the last Premier League outing and Sunday’s encounter will undoubtedly have a big impact on the race for a top-four finish. A victory for the Reds would increase the gap over Chelsea to six points.

How can you follow it? Kick off is at 14:05 GMT and the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK. Subscribers to MUTV can also watch two hours of live build-up from 12:00 GMT, and listen to radio commentary of the game, before watching it in full from midnight. You can also follow it via's live match blog and the official Twitter account @ManUtd.  

Chelsea drew 1-1 with Barcelona on Tuesday after Willian's goal was cancelled out by Lionel Messi's finish
Any team news? United were without Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Sevilla, but were boosted by the returns of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford as substitutes. However, Ander Herrera is out after sustaining a muscle injury early on in midweek. Eric Bailly could also make his 50th appearance for the club and his first start since our last game against Chelsea on 5 November. The boss is expected to give a further update on his squad in Friday’s pre-match press conference. Meanwhile, for Chelsea, midfield duo Ross Barkley and Tiemoue Bakayoko remain doubts due to injury, but Alvaro Morata is available again.

How are Chelsea performing? After an indifferent start to the season, earning 13 points from the first eight games, Chelsea and boss Antonio Conte have been under pressure again in recent weeks following consecutive league defeats against Bournemouth and Watford. Yet their last two outings might have galvanised their season, after a comfortable 4-0 Emirates FA Cup fifth-round win over Hull City and a well-deserved 1-1 draw against Barcelona on Tuesday. Sitting one point clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and a point below third-placed Liverpool, Conte’s side are keen to maintain the pressure on the teams around them in a tough week, with a trip to leaders Manchester City to come next.

Heard the update on Herrera's injury? article

Jose has confirmed Ander unfortunately faces another spell on the sidelines after suffering an injury at Sevilla.

What happened last time we met? The previous clash between the sides was back in early November and saw the Reds’ long run without a win at Stamford Bridge continue. After showing some promise in an even first half, United fell to a 1-0 defeat as Morata headed home a Cesar Azpilicueta cross in the 55th minute.

What’s our overall record like? History shows United lead the head-to-head record comfortably, with 73 wins to Chelsea’s 52 from 178 meetings. The sides have drawn 53 times before and, prior to last season’s impressive victory, the previous three league meetings at Old Trafford had ended in draws.

Who is the one to watch? Having scored three goals in Chelsea’s last two games, Willian is in fine form heading into his 10th match against United. He put in an exceptional performance on Tuesday night, using his pace and strength against Barcelona. The Brazilian forward hit the woodwork twice in the first half before scoring with a brilliant low finish against the five-time European champions and United's defence must be alert to ensure he doesn’t score against us for the first time in his career.

Chelsea 1 United 0Video

Mourinho: We deserved to score a late goalVideo

Mourinho’s record v Chelsea: Jose has endured mixed results when coming up against his former club. During his treble-winning season at Inter Milan in 2010, he beat them in both legs of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie. During his time as United manager, the Blues have won the sides’ three meetings at Stamford Bridge but the Reds prevailed 2-0 in the only encounter at Old Trafford last season.

Did you know? United have kept nine clean sheets from the last 11 games in all competitions. Mourinho's men have also registered a total of 23 clean sheets overall this season, which is three more than any other Premier League team.

Who’s the referee? Martin Atkinson will take charge of his fourth United game this season, having officiated our 4-0 home win against West Ham on the opening weekend, the goalless draw against Liverpool at Anfield in October and, most recently, the 2-2 draw against Burnley on Boxing Day. The Bradford-based whistler will be assisted by Lee Betts and Simon Bennett, with Andre Marriner acting as the fourth official. 
Martin Atkinson will be the referee in Sunday's Premier League blockbuster at Old Trafford
Rivals watch: Here’s the full fixture list…

Saturday 24 February (15:00 GMT unless stated)
Leicester City v Stoke City (12:30 GMT)
Bournemouth v Newcastle United 
Brighton & Hove Albion v Swansea City
Burnley v Southampton
Liverpool v West Ham United
West Bromwich Albion v Huddersfield Town
Watford v Everton (17:30 GMT)

Sunday 25 February 
Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur (12:00 GMT)
Arsenal v Manchester City (16:30 GMT) *

*Carabao Cup final at Wembley