Chelsea v Manchester United - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 19th January 2014 at 16:00. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.

Odds: Chelsea 4/5, Draw 11/4, Manchester United 4/1

Last season: 2-3

Preview & injury news

Chelsea are on a pretty good run at the moment as they are currently two points behind Arsenal in the title race, though Jose Mourinho has seemed pretty keen to play down their chances in recent weeks and say that a top four place is the priority. They have won four on the bounce which sees them sitting in third place - which will do them nicely right now as they are in a good position to strike should either Arsenal or Manchester City slip up this weekend. 

Manchester United will have been delighted to just get the win last time out as they overcame Swansea City following a difficult period of three defeats on the bounce in all competitions. David Moyes goes to Stamford Bridge having never previously won a league match there when he was manager of Everton but will be looking to put that right this weekend. His side are 11 points off the pace in the title race, but the even more worrying thing is that they sit in seventh place five points behind the Champions League places, and they can ill afford to fall much further behind. 

On the injury front, Chelsea may be able to welcome Frank Lampard back to the squad earlier than they initially expected after a muscle injury, but Branislav Ivanovic may have to wait until the end of the month for his return from a knee injury. However, new signing Nemanja Matic could be available for the Blues after completing his move from Chelsea earlier on in the week.

For Manchester United, they're still sweating on the fitness of Wayne Rooney who has been missing since their Boxing Day victory over Hull City with a groin injury. United may have defenders back in time for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones all returning from injury. Patrice Evra could miss out with a knee problem whilst Ashley Young is still sidelined with a shoulder injury. They're joined on the sidelines by influential striker Robin Van Persie who has a thigh problem, whilst Nani and Marouane Fellaini are still recovering from hamstring and wrist injuries respectively.

Key stats

Eden Hazard is Chelsea's top scorer in the league this season with nine goals.

Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's top scorer in the league this season with nine goals.

Chelsea had 56% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 win away to Hull City.

Manchester United had 39% possession in their last league match, a 2-0 win at home against Swansea City.

5 players to watch

Eden Hazard - Hazard has been tipped to become the best footballer in the world by Jose Mourinho. With the current form the Belgian is in, it's hard to see the Chelsea boss will be far wide of the mark. He's been their top scorer in the league so far this season, and has come up with some crucial goes. United really to try and keep him quiet. 

Danny Welbeck - Welbeck has been in pretty decent form for Manchester United and his pace could give Chelsea's back line problems. He may miss the odd chance when he should hit the target but he does carry a big threat and if United get something from the game on Sunday it will not be surprising if it's a result of one of his goals.

Fernando Torres - Torres has scored in back-to-back league games in the past two outings so his confidence will be pretty high going into this game. The question is will Mourinho start him? He does have a tendency to rotate between Torres and Eto'o but Torres with his tail up could give United some problems.

Wayne Rooney - Will he or won't he play? It's a big dilemma for David Moyes because in games like this you need your best players, and if he is close to being fit enough he will play. If he does play, they will be looking for their number 10 for inspiration and to provide that something special which can unlock the Chelsea defence. 

Nemanja Matic - Chelsea's new signing is available to play this weekend after returning to the club from Benfica. It will be a massive game for Mourinho to throw him into for his second debut but it wouldn't be entirely surprising. As a starter or a sub, it will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts to Mourinho's Chelsea side.

Earlier on in the season

Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea, August 2013

A big game that failed to live up to the hype as both sides seemed content with just avoiding defeat so early on in the season. The game's talking point was how Wayne Rooney would play after being selected to start against the club he was strongly linked with throughout the summer. He was many people's man of the match, but unfortunately for the home side he couldn't lead them to victory.

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