Chelsea welcome Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon and Graham Potter’s side may be boosted by the absence of a couple of key United players.
Manchester United come into Sunday’s Premier League trip to Stamford Bridge on the back of Wednesday night’s thrilling 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. However, they could be set to face Chelsea without two key figures of Erik ten Hag’s squad.
The Red Devils are five games undefeated in all competitions following their derby defeat to Manchester City at the start of the month, but face a Chelsea side who have not lost since Thomas Tuchel’s final game in charge against Dinamo Zagreb.
Ten Hag’s men put in a spirited display in midweek to defeat Spurs, banishing any concerns after unattractive displays against Omonia Nicosia and Newcastle United. However, the game was clouded by Cristiano Ronaldo’s behaviour towards the end of the game, where the striker stormed down the tunnel after refusing to come off the bench.
Both managers have been talking to the media today and ten Hag provided an update on team news ahead of Sunday’s fixture. Sportupdatehub has provided you with the latest on who Chelsea may avoid coming up against.
The 37-year-old’s future at Old Trafford has been a highly-discussed subject in recent months, with a possible move to Stamford Bridge reported in the summer. Despite remaining in Manchester, Ronaldo hasn’t featured as much as last season and his frustrations were clear to see at Old Trafford in midweek.
Ten Hag confirmed in his press conference earlier today (Friday) that Ronaldo would not be part of the matchday squad to face Chelsea after walking down the tunnel before the full-time whistle. A club statement yesterday confirmed the news, before the players spoke out on the incident.
Confirmation of his absence will not alter ten Hag’s game-plan much, with the Portugal international mainly used off the bench this season. However, further injuries could work to Chelsea’s benefit.
Another striker who will miss this weekend’s clash is striker Anthony Martial. The Frenchman has not featured in the Premier League since the 2-1 win over Everton, where he was forced off after picking up a back injury. Martial has endured an injury-hit campaign so far, but has scored three goals in four games after being used by ten Hag.
However, ten Hag confirmed on Friday that the 26-year-old is still out of action after missing the previous three games. His presence will be a huge miss, with his influence apparent in the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City. The striker came off the bench and bagged two goals in half an hour against the best defence in the league.
Not having Martial available will be a welcome boost for Potter, with the forward scoring four goals against the Blues since signing in 2015.