Wednesday, April 17
Upcoming predictions and previews
Collect News Data
Premier League | Gameweek 31
Apr 4, 2024 at 8.15pm UK
Stamford Bridge

4 - 3
Man Utd

Gallagher (4'), Palmer (19' pen., 90+10' pen., 90+11')
Gusto (32'), Fernandez (35'), Caicedo (90+12')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Garnacho (34', 67'), Fernandes (39')
Maguire (90+13')

Chelsea vs. Manchester United Combined XI - Hojlund, Palmer, Fernandez

:Headline: Chelsea vs. Manchester United Combined XI - Hojlund, Palmer, Fernandez:
Ahead of Thursday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads.
Sports Mole

The latest round of Premier League fixtures concludes with an enticing encounter between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

Both clubs enter this contest after claiming just a point against relegation-threatened teams last weekend – the Blues drew 2-2 at home to 10-man Burnley just a few hours before the Red Devils conceded a 99th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Brentford.

While Erik ten Hag's side are facing an uphill battle to qualify for next season's Champions League, currently sitting sixth in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, Mauricio Pochettino's men are down in 11th spot and sit four points behind the top seven.

Chelsea will be seeking revenge against Man United after they suffered a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in December – the Blues have failed to win any of their last 12 Premier League meetings with the Red Devils.

Although injury concerns continue to rear their ugly heads for both clubs, there will still be a plethora of stars names on display when the two teams lock horns on Thursday, and with that in mind, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from the squads of both sides, using only players - at the time of writing - expected to be available for the contest.

Following a rocky start to life at Old Trafford, Andre Onana's performances between the sticks for Man United have improved in recent weeks. The Cameroonian has made the fourth-most saves (108) in the Premier League this season and also boasts the third-best save percentage (74.7%), so he gets the nod in our combined XI over Djordje Petrovic, who has established himself as Chelsea's new No.1 ever since Robert Sanchez picked up an injury in December.

Defensively is where both sides have been predominantly hampered with injuries this season, but Diogo Dalot has been ever-present for Man United thus far, starting 26 of the club's 29 top-flight games. The Portuguese has arguably been one of the Red Devils' standout performers this term, operating at either right-back or left-back, and he takes a spot on the right side of our back four, edging out Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Malo Gusto and Reece James – the latter two are nursing injuries.

With Man United duo Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof both major injury doubts for Thursday's clash and Wesley Fofana still recovering from a long-term knee problem, the experienced head of Thiago Silva will partner Lisandro Martinez in the heart of our defence, pipping Harry Maguire and Axel Disasi who can be prone to making the odd defensive mishap.

Thirty-nine-year-old Silva continues to defy his years while playing at the highest level, while Martinez – who made his comeback from injury last weekend – has impressed in the limited games that he has featured in this term and is regarded as one of the first names on the teamsheet, when fit, under Ten Hag.

Both teams are light in the left-back department, with Chelsea's Ben Chilwell doubtful and Levi Colwill still sidelined, while Man United duo Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia are also in the treatment room, so that leaves us with Marc Cucurella, who has played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea's last two games, as the only recognised left-back option available for Thursday's contest.

Although Enzo Fernandez is yet to justify his £107m price tag, the deep-lying Argentine playmaker has developed into an integral first-team player under Pochettino, contributing in both boxes, and he slots into our engine room alongside Man United and England's teenage rising star Kobbie Mainoo, who makes the cut at the expense of Casemiro, Moises Caicedo and Scott McTominay having excelled as an all-round midfielder in his breakthrough campaign under Ten Hag, starting 15 of the Red Devils last 17 Premier League games since and including his debut in November.

Another young Englishman who has taken to the Premier League by storm is Chelsea's Cole Palmer who has quickly developed into a star player for Blues this term. With 13 goals and eight assists in 25 Premier League games, the 20-year-old is the fifth Chelsea player to reach 20 top-flight goals involvements in his debut campaign at the club after Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. There were no qualms about selecting the ex-Manchester City man in our combined XI on the right flank, where he has had most of his joy this season.

Conor Gallagher deserves an honourable mention having worked hard to establish himself as a first-team regular under Pochettino this term, but he has been left out to make room for Bruno Fernandes in the number 10 role. The Portuguese playmaker may not have had his best campaign to date, but he has nevertheless been one of Man United's most productive players in terms of output, contributing with eight goals and nine assists in 39 matches across all tournaments.

Alejandro Garnacho has had a lot of joy on the right wing for Man United this season, but he slots in on the left side of attack in our combined XI ahead of Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Mykhaylo Mudryk. Only Fernandes and Dalot have made more appearances in all competitions than Garnacho (39) among the Red Devils' outfield players this season, with the 19-year-old recording seven goals and four assists while enjoying the most consistent season of his United career to date.

The stats suggest that there is little to separate both Rasmus Hojlund and Nicolas Jackson this season – the former recording 13 goals and two assists compared to the latter's 12 goals and four assists – but taking into account his impressive form since the turn of the year as well as his importance at such a young age as United's focal point, 20-year-old Hojlund just gets the nod to lead the line.

Read more on Chelsea vs Manchester United

body check tags ::

amp_article__540384 : Collect and Make Data not in DataBase  : 
last updated article - 2024-04-03 08:42:23:
html db last update - 2024-04-02 17:13:11 :

ex - 7200 : read : write cache and make html
Read more!
Share this article now:

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!
Recommended Next on SM
Chelsea vs. Man Utd: Head-to-head record and past meetings
Real Madrid, Barcelona learn Florian Wirtz asking price
Kylian Mbappe moves into top 10 of all-time Champions League top-scorers list
Manchester City planning Josko Gvardiol move?
Premier League Table
1Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32127134651-543
14Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3367204670-2425
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3237223084-5416
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

history www

Preview: Man City vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups



Preview: Bayern vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups



Euro 2024: Confirmed teams, favourites and everything you need to know about this summer's tournament in Germany




Toney wage demands 'would see him earn more than Bruno Fernandes at Man Utd'




Three strikers Man United could sign this summer to support Hojlund



Shakhtar chief confirms PL-linked starlet to be sold in summer



Liverpool midfielder asks agent to find him summer move



Barcelona defender confirms talks over permanent exit



Arsenal 'demanding club-record fee for 24-year-old attacker'



Man Utd 'set to receive major injury boost for FA Cup semi-final'



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .