Manchester United – Chelsea: An absolutely huge early season clash takes place at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30pm ET online via NBC) as two teams hoping to at least be in the top four of the Premier League clash.
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Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard have had struggles early in the season, as their defensive units have collapsed multiple times.
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After two good displays in the UEFA Champions League in midweek (United won at PSG and Chelsea had a shutout draw at home v. Sevilla) and plenty of injured players returning, there is a lot of optimism in both camps heading into this weekend.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of a massive early-season clash as Manchester United want to prove they are back on track, while Chelsea aim to kick on after a topsy-turvy start to the season.
Team news (INJURY REPORT)
Manchester United name an unchanged side from the win at Newcastle last time out in the PL, as they were without Harry Maguire for the midweek win at PSG but he returns. Edinson Cavani is on the bench and could make his debut for United, while Eric Bailly is likely out for three to four weeks with a muscle injury and Anthony Martial is still suspended after being sent off against Tottenham.
Cesar Azpilcueta comes into the lineup, as he will start in a three-man central defense with Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva with Edouard Mendy fit to return in goal. Mason Mount drops out of the starting lineup, with Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz in attack.
Chelsea only have Billy Gilmour out through injury, as Hakim Ziyech is on the bench again. Kepa Arrizabalaga has a shoulder issue so isn’t in the squad.
What they’re saying ahead of Manchester United – Chelsea
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on confidence levels at Man United: “These boys can play. They enjoyed it. Attitude, work rate… you know the team spirit has been fantastic since they’ve come back from the international break so it’s been brilliant. I’m just happy for them. I know we have quite a few possibilities in the way we’re playing of course and you have to look at the opposition and how you want to play.”
Christian Pulisic on Chelsea finding the right balance between defense and offense: “We’ve got to find a balance. Obviously we want to create more chances and I want to help with that. We got to find a way to do both… Fitness-wise I feel great. I’m getting back to where I was. I feel strong and I feel like I can play 90 minutes. I’m happy.”
Frank Lampard on the title race, big games early in season: “It is too early to assume anything. You can’t assume whether there will be a runaway winner or not. The games against teams around you will always be big, they are great for confidence if you can play well and get a result. But over the course of the season there is more to it than that. Last season we were not so strong at grinding out points at home as we should have done and that would have affected our position.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Manchester United (+140) are the slight favorites as Chelsea (+175) have struggled in recent meetings with the Red Devils’ counter attacks. The draw at +260 looks enticing.
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Manchester United – Chelsea prediction
This really could be anything, couldn’t it!? I’m going for a narrow Manchester United win as Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes will just have too much for this shaky Chelsea defense. You don’t know what you’re going to get with either team from one week to the next. From the sublime to the ridiculous. Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea.
How to watch Manchester United – Chelsea stream and start time
Kickoff: 12:30pm ET Saturday
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Manchester United – Chelsea: How to watch, prediction, team news, odds originally appeared on NBCSports.com