Predicted Manchester United line-up v Chelsea
Manchester United need to put a smile back on supporters’ faces quickly and a win over Chelsea could lift some of the disappointment around this season.
The match at Old Trafford tonight is United’s penultimate home game of the season, and a chance to beat one of the big sides, after back to back defeats.
United drew 1-1 with Chelsea earlier in the season and won’t be daunted against a Blues side who also lost to Arsenal a week ago.
Ralf Rangnick is still expected to field a strong team, with United aiming to at least secure Europa League football.
Alvaro Fernandez, Shola Shoretire and Will Fish have also been training with the first team and there’s a chance Alejandro Garnacho could be considered too despite playing for the under-18s on Tuesday night.
But when it comes to selection of these players, generally we will believe it when we see it – although there is one of them we believe could start.
Rangnick has generally been cautious in recent weeks, and with Chelsea a dangerous side, the interim boss will likely take the game very seriously.
It is not very easy to work out what United’s strongest side is nowadays. In any case, it is not very strong, based on recent performances and results.
David de Gea will likely start in goal, although Rangnick may be tempted to experiment with Dean Henderson in one of the end of season matches.
Harry Maguire is out injured, so in central defence Raphael Varane will partner Victor Lindelof.
A lack of alternatives could mean Alex Telles will likely start at left-back, although Alvaro Fernandez would be an exciting selection.
We are going to gamble here and suggest Fernandez will make his debut, after Telles’ poor display at Arsenal.
Fernandez also recently impressed against Chelsea at Old Trafford for the under-23s, and with home support behind him, it may be a better debut scenario than an away fixture.
Diogo Dalot would be United’s right-back, with Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic in central midfield, with Fred and Paul Pogba both out injured.
Bruno Fernandes should be rested after playing 134 games in the last two years and seeing his form suffer. But Rangnick will probably start him and hope the home fans can give him a boost.
Jesse Lingard is an unattractive option at this point, and while Juan Mata would be a sentimental pick against his former club, it wouldn’t work with fellow veteran Matic also in midfield. Hannibal would be a better option, but will probably be on the bench.
Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line, and we are going to predict that for this game.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga will start on the wing, with Jadon Sancho set to miss the game through illness.