Jose Mourinho looks to avenge the 4-0 defeat to his former club as Manchester United welcomes Chelsea to Old Trafford live on NBCSN at 11 a.m. ET or live online at NBCSports.com.
The biggest news of Sunday morning was that Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would not start thanks to an ankle injury picked up in training, and thus Asmir Begovic starts in goal. Nobody has picked up more clean sheets in Premier League play this season than Courtois with 13 on the year.
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What we didn’t know beforehand was that Mourinho would sit star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, making his Europa League preference clear. Ibrahimovic started the 1-1 draw with Anderlecht on Thursday in Belgium, and the return leg clearly has great importance to Mourinho. This will mark the first game that Ibrahmovic has missed even a minute in Premier League play due to a manager’s decision and not a required suspension.
For Chelsea, aside from Courtois, the rest of the squad is fit and ready to go as Antonio Conte makes no other changes, with Willian and Cesc Fabregas still on the bench with Marco Alonso and Pedro preferred. The Blues need to win to restore the seven point lead they held at the top of the table coming into the weekend. With the Spurs win over Bournemouth, the current lead is just four.
However, Manchester United has not lost in Premier League play since the 4-0 drubbing back in October, and while draws have plagued them throughout the season to leave them six points adrift of Champions League play, the Red Devils remain difficult to defeat.
UPDATE: Marcos Alonso was announced in the original starting lineup for Chelsea, but was withdrawn just 10 minutes before the game due to a warmup injury. Kurt Zouma replaced Alonso in the starting lineup, while Nathan Ake was added to the bench.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Darmian, Fellaini, Herrera, Young, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford
Subs: Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Shaw, Blind, Carrick, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic