Chelsea host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening in what could be Graham Potter’s toughest test to date. In west London, it’s fourth (Chelsea) versus fifth. A win for Chelsea would put them four points ahead of Manchester United, while a win for the visitors would put them in the top four of the Premier League. Manchester United have been in excellent form recently in the Premier League, including a superb performance against Tottenham last week. At Old Trafford, goals from Fred and Fernandes capped off a dominant performance by the hosts.
Chelsea, meanwhile, is in excellent form. The goalless draw with Brentford on Wednesday evening was their fifth clean sheet in a row, but Potter had previously led his team to five consecutive victories.
Potter will be without Reece James, Wesley Fofana, and N’Golo Kante due to long-term injuries. Thiago Silva and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both over 30, were given some rest at Brentford on Wednesday, we could see a return for the experienced pair.
Kepa Arrizabalaga will keep his place in the Chelsea goal, having kept five clean sheets in his previous five games. What happens in front of him is more difficult to predict, but I believe Potter will stick with a back three system.
Trevoh Chalobah would return to the right centre-back position, while Thiago Silva would return to the starting lineup in the centre. Kalidou Koulibaly can then take over on the left side.
Having tried both Raheem Sterling and Loftus-Cheek at right wing-back in the absence of Reece James in the previous two games, it’s generally believed it’s worth sticking with the more tried and trusted figure of Azpilicueta, even if the Spaniard doesn’t offer the same threat.
Croatian star Kovacic has emerged as one of the team’s most influential players and will start in midfield. There are several options for him to partner with, but I believe Loftus-Cheek, who has impressed since Potter’s arrival, will get the nod over the more experienced Jorginho.
After an impressive cameo off the bench in midweek, Mason Mount should start further forward as part of the front three and Christian Pulisic could come into the starting XI on the left flank. Aubameyang only played ten minutes at Gtech Community Stadium, so he will be fresh and ready to lead the offence.
Patrick Evra predictions on Chelsea vs Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and others
Kepa, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly, Kovacic, Azpilicueta, Loftus Cheek, Chilwell, Mount, Aubameyang, Pulisic.