A monster clash takes place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Chelsea host Manchester United (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in west London.
[ MORE: Mourinho – “I should cry about injuries” ]
With Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho having plenty of injury concerns of late, how will both teams line up?
Let’s project the lineups for both teams below.
—– Courtois —–
—- Rudiger —- Luiz —- Cahill —-
—- Azpilicueta —- Kante —- Drinkwater —- Alonso —-
—- Pedro —- Morata —- Hazard —-
—– De Gea —-
—- Valencia —- Bailly —- Jones —- Darmian —-
—– Matic —- Herrera —-
—– Young —- Mkhitaryan —- Rashford —-
—– Lukaku —–
Defensively Chelsea have had plenty of problems this season and Victor Moses being out has often meant Cesar Azpilicueta shifting to right wing-back from center back. That has caused plenty of problems with Antonio Rudiger, Gary Cahill and David Luiz all guilty of shaky performances, especially during Chelsea’s 3-0 hammering at Roma in the Champions League in midweek.
In midfield N'Golo Kante is highly likely to return which would be a huge boost for Chelsea’s defensive unit but it will be intriguing to see who lines up alongside him in central midfield. Tiemoue Bakayoko is the more defensive option but he has struggled to adjust to the pace of the PL, while Cesc Fabregas’ attacking instincts may see him get the nod for such a huge game. It is believed Danny Drinkwater may start alongside Kante in midfield (just like the Leicester days) to try and shut down United’s attack. In attack the trio of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Alvaro Morata has been working well for Chelsea but Morata has been guilty of missing gilt-edged chances and speaking out of line lately.
As for Manchester United, Jose Mourinho doesn’t want to talk about injury concerns (honest), but he will be without Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Zlatan Ibrahimovic once again for this clash. Mourinho could go for a 3-4-3 formation just like he did against Tottenham last week, but it seems likely he will revert to a 4-2-3-1 with Rashford and Young out wide to give plenty of cover to his full backs.
The big question in attacking midfield will be if Henrik Mkhitaryan keeps his place ahead of Juan Mata or if United’s lineup has a slightly more defensive look with another defensive midfielder included. Daley Blind could perhaps slot in to do a job in defense of midfield depending on the formation.