Chelsea face a huge Premier League title challenge as Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge with Manchester United. Risking N’Golo Kante and dropping Gary Cahill the key for Chelsea to stun Manchester United and Jose Mourinho.Team News:
The big question mark over Chelsea’s line-up this weekend will be N’Golo Kante, with Conte insisting that the French midfielder will only play if he is 100 per cent fit.
But Conte may be tempted to put Kante straight back into action after the way Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayokjo struggled together in central midfield against Roma.
Conte also has some tough decisions to make in defence, with his back three of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger struggling against Roma after the coach decided to switch Rudiger and Cahill either side of Luiz.
Mourinho’s midfield problems continue with Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini still out of action, though Scott McTominay could be pushing for a surprise start after a competent full debut in the Champions League win over Benfica.
Anthony Martial – so often a threat for United off the bench this season – will also be hoping for a starting role after a match-winning goal against Tottenham last weekend.
In truth, Chelsea simply cannot afford to drop more points as they are already in danger of being cut adrift in the title race with in-form Manchester City storming ahead. The midfield partnership of Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko has not always flattered and restoring Kante can help Conte to rediscover the balance he craves.
Chelsea’s defence has been uncharacteristically sloppy in recent weeks – the side conceded 11 goals in six games in October – and the performance in Rome left much to be desired.
How Chelsea should line up vs Manchester United:
Chelsea starting XI: Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Morata
Manchester United starting XI: De Gea; Bailly, Jones, Smalling; Valencia, Matic, Herrera, Young; Martial, Rashford, Lukaku