Man Utd vs. Chelsea predicted line-ups: Red Devils make bold £72m forward call as Blues make two big changes

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The latest team news, injury updates and predicted XIs as Manchester United prepare to host Premier League rivals Chelsea.

There are contrasting moods at Manchester United and Chelsea ahead of Wednesday night’s Old Trafford meeting.

The hosts were fortunate to get away with just a 1-0 defeat in Saturday’s visit to Newcastle United after the Magpies wasted several golden opportunities to make their victory even more comfortable.  Several of Erik ten Hag’s squad were criticised for their attitude and performance at St James Park and there is now growing discontent over their manager as he struggles to find consistency from his squad.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That is also the challenge facing his Chelsea counterpart as Mauricio Pochettino looks to build on Sunday’s dramatic home win against Brighton by claiming a win against a club that are said to be long-term admirers of the former Spurs and Paris Saint-Germain manager.

Getty Images

Ahead of what feels like a monumental clash for both clubs, we take a look at the latest team news and the decisions facing Ten Hag and Pochettino, as well as predicting their starting XIs for Wednesday evening.

Chelsea Team News

There could be a quadruple boost for Pochettino as Malo Gusto and Christopher Nkunku are nearing a return from injury and Reece James and Marc Cucurella have now completed bans and will be available.

Chelsea captain Reece James reacts after being sent off during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on November 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Chelsea captain Reece James reacts after being sent off during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on November 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Chelsea captain Reece James reacts after being sent off during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Chelsea FC at St. James Park on November 25, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

However, left-back Ben Chilwell is not expected to return and could target Sunday’s visit to Everton as a more realistic target for his comeback. Conor Gallagher will sit out after he was shown a red card in the win against Brighton and long-term injury victims Carney Chukwuemeka, Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana are still some way away from a return to contention.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chelsea Predicted XI

Sanchez, James, Silva, Badiashile, Colwill, Caicedo, Fernandez, Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk, Jackson.

Manchester United Team News

The Red Devils will hope for some long-awaited good news on the injury front as former Chelsea star Mason Mount closes in on a return ahead of the clash with his old club. The England midfielder is back in training and could be under consideration for a place on the bench. He'll be eager to prove himself to his new employers, after securing a big-money £60m move to Old Trafford last summer.

Christian Eriksen and Jonny Evans are also close to a return but the meeting with the Blues could just come too early for the experienced duo. Elsewhere, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez are definite absentees as they are not expected to return to contention until mid-January at the earliest.

Man Utd's Casemiro is suffering from a hamstring injury and is not expected back until the new yearMan Utd's Casemiro is suffering from a hamstring injury and is not expected back until the new year
Man Utd's Casemiro is suffering from a hamstring injury and is not expected back until the new year | Getty Images

Young winger Amad Diallo still has no expected return date as he continues the long road to recovery after he suffered a serious knee injury and Jadon Sancho is still not under consideration after his well-publicised fall-out with Ten Hag earlier in the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It seems inevitable the former Ajax manager will make changes as he looks for a reaction from his side after their defeat at Newcastle and the return of Rasmus Hojlund could mean Anthony Martial drops out. A big call lies in wait on Marcus Rashford after the England forward was strongly criticised for his display at St. James' Park.

Manchester United Predicted XI

Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Shaw, Dalot, Mainoo, McTominay, Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho, Hojlund.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.