Predicted Chelsea lineup against Manchester United: Felix, Sterling up front; Badiashile misses out

Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling will spearhead the Chelsea attack again versus Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Chelsea will be eager to end the 2022/23 season strongly when they lock horns with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night. And Frank Lampard has a plethora of fitness issues hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture.

Marcus Bettinelli (knock), Benoit Badiashile (hamstring), Reece James (thigh), Marc Cucurella (hamstring), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Mason Mount (pelvis), N’Golo Kante (groin), and Armando Broja (knee) are on the sidelines.

But there is some good news, as Mateo Kovacic should have recovered from a knock to be available for the trip to Manchester. But Lampard did not confirm that during his pre-match press conference. Instead, he spoke about the situation of Benoit Badiashile.

Lampard said, “Mason, Reece and Chilly won’t make the game, Benoit Badiashile we know is out. Joao [Felix] had a small injury at the weekend and he is back involved. It’s a big blow for him [Badiashile] and I am disappointed for him.”

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“He has come here and impressed and the games just before he got injured I was very happy with him. He is going to be a good player for this club. It is an unfortunate, complicated injury. It is months rather than weeks. I hope for him that the timing of it over the summer, means that he won’t miss games and he will come back stronger.”

With Badiashile still unavailable, Thiago Silva, Wesley Fofana, and Trevoh Chalobah will form the central defensive unit again. The trio will protect Kepa Arrizabalaga, who should take his spot between the sticks.

As for the midfield unit, Kovacic might not make the starting eleven, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Enzo Fernandez pairing up again. With Kante unavailable, Denis Zakaria should be the backup option on the bench. Meanwhile, Cesar Azpilicueta and Lewis Hall should continue as the wing-backs.

Finally, the offensive unit will remain unchanged, with Joao Felix and Raheem Sterling featuring up front. The duo will spearhead the Chelsea attack against Manchester United, with Conor Gallagher playing off them. Joao Felix, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, and Noni Madueke will thus be the backup options.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Fofana; Azpilicueta, Fernandez, Loftus-Cheek, Hall; Gallagher; Havertz, Sterling

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