Chelsea moved a step closer to their Premier League title dreams with a 1-3 win over Bournemouth last weekend away at Dean Court, while Manchester United was able to come out of a vice grip of drawn encounters with a 0-3 win over 20th placed Sunderland. Jose Mourinho now prepares himself to meet his old club, whom he had led to glory three seasons ago, in a tense revenge clash at the Old Trafford on Sunday. Antonio Conte’s men had thrashed United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge in October. Further insult to injury was heaped on Mourinho when the Blues knocked out his side from the FA Cup with a 1-0 win in the quarter-finals.
For Conte, the range of attacking options are immense with folks like Hazard, Diego Costa, Willian, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas lined up and even someone like Marco Alonso coming good with a goal in the Blues’ recent win over Bournemouth. Victor Moses, a key player in the midfield is back from his injuries and will look to play an active mid-field role at the Old Trafford on Sunday along with the brilliant ex-Leicester City man, N’Golo Kante. Azpilicueta, Luiz and Cahill will bring up the back line while Thibaut Courtois will man the posts.
For Mourinho, there are numerous injury concerns. David De Gea, absent in the Sunderland clash with a hip injury is a 50-50 starter for Sunday’s big clash. Defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling with toe and knee injuries are set to miss the important clash. Also, missing upfront will be the creativity and speed of Juan Mata out with an injury to his groin. Antonio Valencia should, in all probability, make it after recovering fully from a pulled muscle. All this means that the United attack will rest on the shoulders of the in-form Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the ever-prolific Zlatan Ibrahimovic (the Red Devils’ top-scorer with 26 goals this season) with support from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Quite astonishingly, Manchester United have yet to win a match against their Sunday’s opponents since their 3-2 win back in 2012. In their 12 meetings with the Blues since then, United have lost on 7 occasions. It doesn’t look likely that Jose Mourinho’s men could reverse this trend at the Old Trafford on April 16. But bookmakers are wagering on a United win, given their unbeaten record at the venue this 2016-17 season. But, the least unexpected result would be a draw.
Chelsea are at the top of the Table with 65 points and 7 points ahead of next-best Tottenham Hotspur. But Spurs are poised to close that gap further thanks to a comparatively easy home fixture against 15th placed Bournemouth on Saturday.
Recommended Tip: BTTS – YES , Best Odds 1.9