Manchester United vs Chelsea Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

Manchester United vs Chelsea will be the final fixture of the elongated Gameweek 37 as we edge closer to the end of the Premier League season.

Only a few days remain for the long-winding 2022/23 Premier League season to end. The curtains will fall on Gameweek 37 on Thursday. And Manchester United vs Chelsea will be the marquee fixture that will take us closer to the culmination of the top-flight campaign.

Manchester United will look back at the 2022/23 season fondly, especially considering they lost their first two games. But the Red Devils have been one of the best teams in the Premier League since those defeats. And only a point remains between them and sealing a top-four finish. Meanwhile, Erik ten Hag’s charges will look to complete a cup double when they face Manchester City in the FA Cup final next month.

On the other hand, Chelsea fans will not want to relive the memories of the ongoing campaign anytime soon. The Blues have been dreadful in the 2022/23 season, and they will finish outside the top half. And that is ridiculous, considering they have spent well over half a billion euros in the last two transfer windows. But Frank Lampard will hope to end a forgettable term strongly.

The reverse fixture was a drab affair that got engrossing closer to the full-time whistle. And after Casemiro broke the deadlock in the 87th minute, Jorginho netted an injury-time equaliser to ensure Chelsea shared the spoils with Manchester City. And The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Chelsea on Thursday, the Manchester United manager will be bereft of the services of at least four first-team players.

The good news is that Marcus Rashford has resumed training this week. The Englishman has recovered from an illness to be available for the game on Thursday. But Phil Jones (knee), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Marcel Sabitzer (knee), and Donny van de Beek (knee) have played their final games of the campaign.

The fit-again Rashford should return to the starting eleven straightaway. The English international should spearhead the Manchester United attack, with Anthony Martial dropping to the bench. Meanwhile, the Frenchman faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford, with Erik ten Hag sanctioning his sale.

With Martial unlikely to start, Jadon Sancho and Antony should be the two wide attackers. But Alejandro Garnacho is also an option, but the teenage prodigy will likely appear off the bench. Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role.

But the Portuguese international will also often drop deep during the defensive phases to support Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. Meanwhile, Casemiro and Eriksen will also look to provide the forward thrust from the middle of the park, with the former often making ghosting runs in the final third.

As for the backline, Erik ten Hag will unlikely make any change, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka vs Diogo Dalot being the only bone of contention. Wan-Bissaka should start again, with Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, and Luke Shaw joining him. Finally, there is no looking past David de Gea between the sticks.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford


Unlike his counterpart in the Manchester United dugout, Frank Lampard does not have any new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. The Chelsea caretaker boss will be without nine first-team players on Thursday.

Benoit Badiashile was the latest absentee for Chelsea over the weekend due to a groin injury. And the young Frenchman remains on the sidelines, where he is accompanying Marcus Bettinelli (knock), Reece James (thigh), Marc Cucurella (hamstring), Ben Chilwell (thigh), Mason Mount (pelvis), N’Golo Kante (groin), and Armando Broja (knee) on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Lampard is sweating over the fitness of Mateo Kovacic. But the Croat will unlikely start on Thursday, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek being Enzo Fernandez’s midfield partner. Meanwhile, Conor Gallagher will be the most advanced midfielder, aiming to crack open the Manchester United defence with his ghosting runs.

Meanwhile, Kai Havertz and Raheem Sterling should be the two strikers, with the duo looking to enter dangerous scoring areas on Thursday. Joao Felix, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, and Noni Madueke will thus be the backup options.

As for the defensive unit, Trevoh Chalobah’s stock has risen in the last few weeks. And the 23-year-old will join Thiago Silva and Wesley Fofana in the central defensive unit. Cesar Azpilicueta and Lewis Hall should be the two full-backs, with Kepa Arrizabalaga taking his spot between the sticks.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Kepa; Chalobah, Silva, Fofana; Azpilicueta, Fernandez, Loftus-Cheek, Hall; Gallagher; Havertz, Sterling

Key Stats

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last ten Premier League games against Chelsea (W3 D7). They have never gone 11 without defeat against the Blues in their league history. The last five Premier League meetings between Manchester United and Chelsea have been draws. The Red Devils have never drawn six consecutive league games against an opponent, while the Blues only ever done so against West Brom (8 between 1921 and 1927).
  • Only Manchester City (8) and Liverpool (7) have won more Premier League away games against Manchester United vs Chelsea (6), though the Blues are winless in their last nine visits to Old Trafford (D6 L3) since a 1-0 win May 2013.
  • Chelsea have lost the final away league game in three of the last five seasons, although they did win 3-0 at Leeds United in their final such match in the 2021/22 season.
  • Manchester United kept a clean sheet in their last six Premier League home games, last going longer without conceding at Old Trafford in the league in March 2010 (seven games). In all competitions, the Red Devils have recorded 16 shutouts at home in 2022/23, last keeping more in 2015/16 (17).
  • Anthony Martial has been involved in five goals in his past four starts against Chelsea (4 goals, 1 assist). But his most recent Premier League start against the Blues came back in February 2020 at Stamford Bridge, netting the opener in a 2-0 win for the Red Devils.

Player to Watch

Marcus Rashford

Embed from Getty Images

Who else but the goalscoring extraordinaire across both teams? Marcus Rashford is ending the season in frustration after missing the last few games, first due to an injury and then because of illness. But the Englishman has recovered from the said illness to be available for the final matches of the campaign.

The 25-year-old will thus be raring to go and end a memorable campaign on a high. So Rashford will focus on in the right shape ahead of the FA Cup final. And if he manages to rediscover his best form, Manchester United fans will fancy their chances against Manchester City.


Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea

Manchester United vs Chelsea has seldom produced a definitive winner in the recent meetings between the two sides. But Thursday will present the Red Devils with a golden opportunity to end the run of stalemates. And the returning Marcus Rashford should wreak havoc this midweek.

Chelsea will start the game full of energy while taking the game to Manchester United. But the Blues will eventually run out of steam, which is when the hosts will draw first blood. And The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 win for Erik ten Hag and his charges on Thursday. The result will thus help them seal a top-four finish for the campaign.

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