GOOD AFTERNOON FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE
Welcome to SunSport’s live coverage of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.
It’s back to domestic matters for these clubs after they did the business in Europe in midweek, and this contest could go a long way to ensuring which continental competition the two take part in next season.
Weekend defeats for Leicester and West Ham have offered an opportunity for the Premier League heavyweights to stake their claim for a top-four finish and the Champions League football that comes with it.
The Blues registered a fantastic result in that very competition on Wednesday by beating Atletico Madrid in Bucharest and, in the process, stretched their unbeaten run since Thomas Tuchel took charge to eight games.
The German head coach is yet to see his defence breached at Stamford Bridge, but that backline will once again take to the field this afternoon without the experience of Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian is the only absentee from a Chelsea squad that is otherwise at full strength, and targeting a win that will lift them above the Hammers and into fourth place.
United’s title challenge may have faltered in recent weeks in the wake of Manchester City’s dominance, but a victory today will leave them in pole position to take the runners-up spot come May.
It’s been an improved campaign built on impressive away form with the Red Devils currently on a club-record streak of 19 league games on the road without defeat – a run that started at this very ground one year and 11 days ago.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is short of numbers in midfield with Paul Pogba and Juan Mata ruled out of the trip to London, and there are also doubts surrounding the fitness of Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek, Dan James and Edinson Cavani.
We’ll have news of the starting line-ups shortly before the action gets underway at 4.30pm.