Manchester United and Chelsea will be desperate to clinch three points when they clash at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Wednesday will present six fixtures as we get into the thick of the action in Gameweek 15 of the 2023/24 Premier League season. The marquee fixture on the day will see Manchester United hosting Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have endured a dreadful season thus far, losing ten of the 21 games across all competitions. Erik ten Hag is on the brink at Old Trafford, with recent reports claiming he has lost elements of the dressing room. So, the results need to start picking up soon for the Dutchman to retain his job, especially with December presenting many tricky fixtures.

On the other hand, inconsistency has been the name of the game for Chelsea for the last 18 months. Things should have changed for the better under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino. But the Blues have struggled to embark on a long winning run, winning five and losing as many games in the Premier League. That has meant that they are bang in the middle of the table.

The corresponding fixture last season saw Manchester United cruising to a 4-1 win over Chelsea, with Joao Felix scoring a late consolation goal for the visitors. 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 does not have any new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Chelsea on Wednesday, the Manchester United manager will be bereft of the services of eight first-team players.

Tyrell Malacia (knee), Lisandro Martinez (foot), Jonny Evans (hamstring), Casemiro (thigh), Mason Mount (calf), Christian Eriksen (knee), and Amad Diallo (knee) remain in the treatment room. Meanwhile, Jadon Sancho’s exile continues, as he has yet to call a truce with Erik ten Hag.

Andre Onana will take his spot between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Chelsea. The defensive unit should see a change, with Victor Lindelof returning to allow Luke Shaw to play as a left-back. The duo will accompany Harry Maguire and Diogo Dalot in the backline.

As for the midfield unit, Kobbie Mainoo and Scott McTominay should retain their partnership. The duo will look to provide the progression from the middle of the park. As for the attack, Rasmus Hojlund should be the central striker, with Bruno Fernandes playing behind him. Marcus Rashford should retain his spot in the final third despite his struggles, with Alejandro Garnacho being the other wide attacker.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Mainoo; Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho; Hojlund


Unlike his counterpart in the Manchester United dugout, Mauricio Pochettino has a new roster issue to deal with ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. The Chelsea manager might be without eight first-team players on Wednesday.

Conor Gallagher is the latest absentee, with the Englishman unavailable to take on Manchester United after seeing red against Brighton & Hove Albion this past weekend. Gallagher has joined Wesley Fofana (knee), Ben Chilwell (hamstring), Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), and Carney Chukwuemeka (knee) on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Pochettino is still sweating over the fitness of Malo Gusto, Christopher Nkunku, and Romeo Lavia. The trio might not be fit enough to feature in the starting eleven. But there is some good news, as Reece James and Marc Cucurella are available after serving their suspensions this past weekend.

James should return to the starting eleven this Wednesday, with Levi Colwill, Axel Disasi, and Benoit Badiashile joining him in the backline. The defensive quartet will protect Robert Sanchez, who will take his spot between the sticks.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo in the double pivot. Cole Palmer should replace the suspended Gallagher, joining Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Nicolas Jackson in the final third.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Sanchez; James, Disasi, Badiashile, Colwill; Fernandez, Caicedo; Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

Key Stats

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games against Chelsea (W4 D7) since a 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge in November 2017.
  • Chelsea have failed to win away at Manchester United in over 10 years (D4 L6), with their last Premier League victory coming in May 2013.
  • Manchester United vs Chelsea is the fixture that has produced the most draws in Premier League history (26).
  • Manchester United have lost three of their last five Premier League home games (W2), having won eight in a row at Old Trafford before that. The Red Devils have failed to score before half-time in six of their seven home league games thus far this term.
  • Chelsea have won three of their last four Premier League away games (L1), more than they had in their previous 16 (W2 D5 L9). However, they are winless in seven on the road against sides to finish in the top four the previous season (D3 L4), including a 4-1 defeat to Newcastle United in the most recent such clash.

Player to Watch

Marcus Rashford

The Mason Greenwood fiasco is a bad look on Manchester United.
Rashford has often faced the flak when his performances suffered. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford has found himself in hot water after his dreadful performance against Newcastle United. Pundits from all corners have slammed the Englishman, who continues to be sub-par this term. Even Erik ten Hag suggested this past weekend that he would have a discussion with him on his form.

Nothing is seemingly working for Rashford, who will be under pressure to prove himself despite his exploits last season. He is clearly a confidence player, and a game-changing performance against Chelsea might be the catalyst to turning his form and fortunes around this season.


Manchester United 1-2 Chelsea

Manchester United and Chelsea have been draw specialists in their meetings in the Premier League era. Both clubs are in the doldrums right now, with Erik ten Hag, in particular, under mounting pressure. So, a win is imperative for the Red Devils this midweek for the Dutchman to keep his job.

But the Blues have produced some impressive performances in games against fellow “Big Six” clubs, beating Tottenham Hotspur while claiming creditable draws against Manchester City and Liverpool. They should channel that energy on Wednesday, edging Manchester United in a closely contested affair, with the pressure ramping up on Erik ten Hag.

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