Super Sunday Match: Chelsea vs Manchester United
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Jose Mourinho’s side slipped up two weeks ago against Huddersfield Town, allowing Manchester City to open up a lead at the top of the table, but they have strung together three successive victories since then and appear determined to close the gap.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are even further off the pace, drifting nine points behind the leaders and they are currently navigating through a difficult period under Antonio Conte’s stewardship.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: “Now there are big problems for all the teams that want to fight for the title. The big problem is Manchester City.
“If City continue in this way it will be difficult to fight for the title. We have to try to do our best.”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on playing former club Chelsea: “I have to admit it’s a little bit different but in the end I want to win like I did with Inter. They want to win like they did last season and it’s just one more day.
“In a couple of years it will be even more natural, and in four or five years probably no one will remember that I was Chelsea manager and it becomes absolutely normal.
“It isn’t a big thing. One day you are in one club, the next day you’re in another club.”
What is the team news?
Midfielder N’Golo Kante will be given every chance to return from a hamstring injury when Chelsea play Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Kante could be joined in midfield by former Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater, who could make his first Premier League start for Chelsea.
Right wing-back Victor Moses (hamstring) is the only definite absentee, with captain Gary Cahill poised to start in defence despite his early tactical substitution in the loss at Roma.
Provisional squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Drinkwater, Kante, Morata, Hazard, Pedro, Bakayoko, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Clarke-Salter, Scott, Eduardo.
Jose Mourinho does not expect to have any of his injured players back for Sunday’s clash with Chelsea.
Manchester United were without five players for Tuesday’s Champions League win over Benfica while Jesse Lingard picked up a back problem and was substituted at half-time.
Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo have all spent significant time on the sidelines.
Provisional squad: De Gea, Romero, Pereira, Valencia, Darmian, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Rojo, Young, Matic, Herrera, McTominay, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Rashford, Martial.