Chelsea host Manchester United in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon knowing that taking three points could derail their opponents’ push for European football.
The Blues are unbeaten in eight games after sacking Jose Mourinho in December, but are still in the bottom half of the table – Guus Hiddink’s side are four points adrift of 10th-placed Stoke City.
Five of those games in that undefeated streak have been draws, including a 0-0 stalemate at Watford on Wednesday night – they recorded the same score-line at Old Trafford in December.
Meanwhile, United have lost just one of their last six outings – however, they have won just three of their last 10 league games, although they recorded a 3-0 victory against Stoke during the week.
Wayne Rooney found the net once again in that game – the England striker scored in every game for United in January, with the exception of their 1-0 defeat against Southampton.
Three points for the Red Devils could move them to within two of fourth-placed Arsenal, depending on the Gunners’ result at Bournemouth earlier that day.
Loan signing Alexandre Pato is still lacking match fitness, so might have to take his chance from the bench for the hosts.
Former United loan man Falcao is out of the game, and his future at Chelsea seems to be non-existent – he was removed from their European squad on Thursday.
Man. United manager Louis van Gaal has no new injury or suspension concerns, though Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are nearing returns.
League Positions: Chelsea – 13th (29 pts); Manchester United – 5th (40 pts)
Previous Meeting: Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea, December 28, 2015
League Form: Chelsea – DWDDWD; Manchester United – DWDWLW
Key Players: Chelsea – Diego Costa; Manchester United – Wayne Rooney
Shoot Says: Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United