Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Raheem Sterling, and Thiago Silva will return when Chelsea and Manchester United face off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Chelsea are unbeaten under new manager Graham Potter, and a win in the game against Manchester United on Saturday evening will give them an immense confidence boost. The hosts are currently fourth on the Premier League table, and they will look to boost their UEFA Champions League qualification hopes with a win here.
Chelsea will be without Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Wesley Fofana this weekend. And Potter provided an update on James during his pre-match press conference. The Chelsea manager also spoke about the recovery process following a gruelling midweek game against Brentford.
“We’re still in the process of recovering everybody after the game but we’re pretty much as we were at Brentford. Conor’s trained today so he’s recovered, so we’ll see how he is over the next 24 hours. But apart from the long-term absences we’re pretty much as we were.”
“Reece is in a brace for four weeks, which is the first thing, to stabilise the knee and then it’s rehab, so that will take, like we said, about eight weeks. So that’s the latest. You have to at least acknowledge the fact they’re human beings who want to be involved in that type of competition absolutely. The reality is that I haven’t got anything to say that will make it better for them, I think it’s worth me acknowledging that.”
Chelsea will likely line up in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Kepa Arrizabalaga starting in goal. The Spaniard has been outstanding in his recent outings, and he is set to retain his place in the starting lineup ahead of Edouard Mendy.
In the back three, youngster Trevoh Chalobah is expected to partner Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly. Ruben Loftus-Cheek should start as the right wing-back in the absence of James. And the Englishman will have to provide cover to the defenders as well as drive the team forward from the right-hand side. Summer signing Marc Cucurella will be deployed in a similar role on the left.
In the central midfield, Croatian international Mateo Kovacic will partner Jorginho. While Kovacic will be expected to drive the team forward and add some creativity, Jorginho will look to win the ball back and recycle position.
Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling will operate as the attacking midfielders who will also look to drift into the wide areas from time to time to provide some width to the team.
While Armando Broja was handed the opportunity to impress against Brentford, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to return to the starting lineup for the important game against Manchester United. Broja, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, and Hakim Ziyech will be backup options on the bench.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly; Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Jorginho, Cucurella; Sterling, Mount; Aubameyang