Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Chelsea

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  • United have lost four straight
  • Chelsea unbeaten in 8 vs. MU
  • Diego Costa suspended

With four straight losses and winless in seven overall, Louis Van Gaal needs a win against Chelsea on Monday or his career at Manchester United is likely over (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After falling to Stoke City on Boxing Day, United has now lost four straight matches for the first time since 1961. Van Gaal’s side has been held scoreless in 7 of 18 Premier League matches this season, and another poor performance against Chelsea could be the nail in the coffin for the Dutch manager. As doubts about his future continue to build, LVG hinted that he may resign before he is sacked, which shows how bad the situation is right now. Wayne Rooney came off the bench in the second half against Stoke, although the captain will likely return to the starting XI on Monday. Bastian Schweinsteiger will also be available after serving a three-match ban.

[ RELATED: Chelsea show weaknesses in draw vs. Watford ]

Guus Hiddink’s first match back at Chelsea ended in a draw against Watford, although the Blues created more chances and missed a late penalty that would have handed Hiddink all three points. However, Chelsea still sit 15th on the table just two points clear of the drop, so a result against United would be massive. After scoring just three goals all season, Diego Costa scored twice against Watford as the striker’s production is necessary for Chelsea to climb up the table. However, he picked up his fifth yellow card and will be suspended for Monday’s match.

What they’re saying

United boss LVG: “You can say we can quickly get over this defeat [to Stoke] by playing against Chelsea but in the time in between, you have to recover because the players have given everything. Then you have to manage that you are very confident to start the Chelsea game, and that you dare to play football – our football. It is very difficult to do that in just two days but we shall try.”

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink: “Every Chelsea versus Manchester United game is big but this one is especially of course. I hope we can show the same ambition there that we showed in a big part of this game [against Watford].”

Prediction

Since Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea, the Blues have taken four of a possible six points. Manchester United has taken just two of a possible 15 points over the past five matches, and in their current form, I don’t see them turning things around on Monday. Manchester United 1-2 Chelsea.