PMB: Man United v Chelsea - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for today's game...

• Maurizio Sarri will be keen to see regular starters N’Golo Kante and Toni Rudiger declared fit for the most important run of matches in his career. After Old Trafford, the Blues are in Frankfurt for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final, ahead of Sunday’s final home league game of the season against Watford. Man United are the only rivals for finishing third or fourth with no European games.

• In Monday’s match against Burnley, Chelsea conceded from a set-piece for the 14th and 15th time – no Premier League team has registered more. Overall, though, the Londoners have conceded just 317 shots compared to Man United’s 463. Chelsea and United have conceded nine and eight goals respectively to shots from outside the box in the top flight.

• Only once in eight occasions so far this season have the Londoners overcome a deficit to win an away match. However, the Blues have gone on to win nine of the 10 games on the road in which we have led. The tally of 19 strikes from the 76th minute on is the highest in the top flight. Eden Hazard, fouled 98 times in the league this season, has yet to score a league goal at Old Trafford in five visits.


• Ole Gunnar Solskjaer favours a 4-3-3 but switched to 5-3-2 in an attempt to stifle City in Wednesday’s Manchester derby. The Red Devils have conceded plenty of chances to every team and they have now not kept a clean sheet over 12 games in all competitions. Only Wolves, with four, have conceded more own-goals this campaign than Man United’s three. United’s leading scorer Paul Pogba is also their highest committer of fouls with 51, 16 more than Chelsea’s most-whistled man, Cesar Azpilicueta.

• Man United remain capable of spells of the aggressive, energetic high-pressing that almost had Barcelona rocking while it lasted. Solskjaer has picked his fastest front three men in recent games, though a diminishing supply line from midfield has reduced their effectiveness. Nemanja Matic was dropped in midweek but may return against his former club on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri's pre-match quotes

‘In the last two matches we had problems with the defensive phase. We conceded two goals from set-pieces in the last match. So the whole team was involved, not just the defenders.

‘Against Slavia we conceded two goals from shots 20, 25 metres out, so the midfielders were also involved. We need to defend with more intensity and aggressiveness. The whole team needs to improve in the defensive phase.’

Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's pre-match quotes

‘I trust David De Gea. He's, for me, been the best player United have had for the last six, seven years.

He's been absolutely outstanding. Going through tough patches is just part of a footballer's career. David will be fine, no worries.’

Squad news

Ethan Ampadu
Callum Hudson-Odoi

Marcos Alonso
N’Golo Kante
Toni Rudiger


Man United
Antonio Valencia

Eric Bailly
Ander Herrera
Phil Jones


Matchday weather outlook

Cool but with some sun in Manchester this afternoon.

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