|Manchester United will rely on the magic of Cristiano Ronaldo but will Chelsea be able to call on Romelu Lukaku? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Manchester United vs. ChelseaOld Trafford7:45 pm
It is gradually falling apart for Manchester United. A loss in this fixture against Chelsea confirms that there will be no champions league football for the Red Devils next season.
Chelsea left it late against the Hammers last weekend with a last gasp strike by American import Christian Pulisic; the substitute toe-poked past Lukas Fabianski shortly after Jorginho had his penalty saved by the Pole.
The Red Devils traveled to North London last weekend to negotiate with Arsenal; it was a game that would have restored them to the top four hunts; they welcomed Cristiano Ronaldo and Rafael Varane back to the fold, but things didn’t go as planned.
Arsenal scored as early as the third minute when David De Gea parried Bukayo Saka’s strike into the path of Nuno Tavares, and the Portuguese made no mistake from close range for his first-ever goal in Arsenal colors since joining in the summer.
Manchester United lost 3-1, which took them six points off the Gunners, and Arsenal still has a game in hand, which could make it worse for Manchester United. This makes the fixture against Chelsea a must-win for the Reds.
Chelsea has nothing to lose in this regard; they are just a few wins away from being guaranteed top four and champions league football next season by extension; the Blues are losing their top talents due to their current situations, and there is no end in sight.
For this fixture, United will be without Harry Maguire, who missed the Arsenal defeat due to personal reasons; it is now a matter of how motivated the players are to fight till the end in the face of obvious challenges on and off the pitch.
Chelsea is the firm favorite in this fixture; they can win and steer clear of Arsenal to assure themselves of the third spot or lose here and invite pressure on themselves with the run in looking more intense than ever.
The last three league fixtures between Manchester United and Chelsea ended in stalemates – two goalless draws and a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge in November of last year. Is this one poised for another stalemate?