By Ollie Cranham-Young
- Schneiderlin expected to return to starting eleven
- Jones returned to first-team training today
- Shaw, Rojo and Valencia all making good progress in their rehabilitation
Following arguably the best performance of the season so far in midweek against Stoke City, Manchester United go in search of their third successive victory in all competitions when they travel to London to face Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.
A win for United would certainly see themselves certainly announce to the rest of the league that they are fighting for fourth spot alongside Chelsea’s arch rivals Tottenham.
A defeat for United however would see more pressure cranked up on Dutch boss Louis Van Gaal whilst Chelsea would savour a valuable three points that could prove vital come May in their chances of gaining a spot in the top half of the table.
With 14 league games to play, United really must see every game as a must-win if they wish to return to Europe’s elite competition next season and as the Reds are currently five points short of fourth place.
A win in East London would be a big confidence boost for United as they enter a series of tough February fixtures.
Manchester United travel to London without long-term absentees Shaw, Valencia, Rojo and Young but have been boosted by the returns of Darmian and Carrick in recent games.
Speaking about the injury players. Van Gaal says there all making progress but are at different stages. Phil Jones is closing on a return after training with the first-team today.
While Bastian Schweinsteiger is still recovering from the knee injury he suffered against Sheffield United.
We don’t expect to see many changes to the team that started Tuesday nights 3-0 win over Stoke City. That game saw Darmian and Carrick return to the starting line-up after injury.
Midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin spent the victory over Stoke sat on the bench. We believe the Frenchman was being rested for this game and will replace Carrick or Fellaini in the starting eleven. We’re going for a combination of Carrick and Schneiderlin.
Chelsea have not been in the most exciting nor promising form of late, however, they are yet to lose under their temporary Dutch boss and Guus Hiddink will be hoping that only continues this weekend.
Eden Hazard will be hoping to score in his first league match of the season against United on Saturday after only scoring his first goal of the campaign in last weekend’s 5-1 thrashing of MK Dons.
New Chelsea signing Alexandre Pato was not considered fit enough for Chelsea in their midweek clash against Watford at Vicarage Road but could play a part in Sunday’s fixture at some point.