Chelsea v Manchester United preview: Late decision on N'Golo Kante for Sky Sports showdown
Last Updated: 05/11/17 4:26pm
Chelsea will give N'Golo Kante every chance to prove his fitness when they host Manchester United in the Premier League live on Sky Sports on Sunday.
The midfielder has been missing since picking up a hamstring injury last month but could return to action at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from a 3-0 loss at Roma in their midweek Champions League match and they have a good recent record against Sunday's opponents - losing just one of their last 15 home Premier League games with United (W9 D5), with that defeat coming in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season (2-3 in October 2012).
It will also signal a return to Chelsea for Jose Mourinho - who spent five years at the club over two spells as manager - and he has lost three of his last four away games against sides he's previously managed.
United currently sit second in the Premier League table - five points behind leaders Man City - and have won their last three games in all competitions without conceding, including last weekend's 1-0 victory against Tottenham in the league.
Alongside Kante, his former Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater could also make his Premier League debut.
Right wing-back Victor Moses (hamstring) is the only definite absentee, with captain Gary Cahill poised to start in defence despite his early tactical substitution in the loss at Roma.
Jose Mourinho does not expect to have any of his injured players back for Sunday's clash. United were without five players for Tuesday's Champions League win over Benfica while Jesse Lingard picked up a back problem.
Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo have all spent significant time on the sidelines.
Manchester United's 2-0 victory in their last meeting with Chelsea ended a run of 12 games without a win against them in all competitions. They last won back-to-back meetings with the Blues in September 2011.
United have lost more Premier League games (17) and conceded more Premier League goals (66) against Chelsea than they have against any other side in the competition.
Antonio Conte's side have already lost as many home Premier League games this season as they did in 2016-17 overall (2).
Under Mourinho, United have lost five of their eight away Premier League games immediately after playing in Europe (W3), including their last three against Arsenal and Spurs in May and Huddersfield last month.
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Stats, quizzes, analysis, opinion and more. Plus have your say ahead of Man City v Arsenal and Chelsea v Man Utd.
Antonio Conte has won 112 points as Chelsea manager in his 48 Premier League games in charge, 11 points fewer than Jose Mourinho had at this point of his Chelsea managerial career (123). Mourinho lost just one of his first 48 Premier League games in charge of the club (W38 D9 L1), but Conte has already lost eight times (W36 D4 L8).
Twenty-one per cent of the total Premier League goals scored in the final 10 minutes of games this season (10/47) have been netted by Manchester United.
Manchester United substitutes have scored seven goals and assisted four more (both league-highs) this season so far - Anthony Martial has provided six of these 11 substitute goal involvements (four goals, two assists); more than any other player.
Romelu Lukaku has scored 15 goals in 59 Premier League games against 'big six' opposition, averaging a goal every 295 minutes. His mins per goal ratio against non 'big six' opponents is 137 (77 goals in 137 apps).
No goalkeeper has kept as many clean sheets in the 'big five' European leagues since the start of 2016-17 than Manchester United's David de Gea (22).
I think there will be just one goal in this. Mourinho set up at Liverpool to not to get beat. They beat all the lesser clubs, go to Liverpool, draw 0-0, you come away and go, 'right, if we draw with all the big boys and beat all the lesser teams, which we will, we will have a chance of winning the league.'
But then they fall behind the eight ball as a week later by losing to Huddersfield and that is it. Take the Huddersfield game away though and there is nothing wrong. They just beat Tottenham, and everybody is telling me they are going to win the Champions League.
If I get the score right in the first Super Sunday game, then they have to go to Chelsea and win, as a draw is no good for either team. A draw will be a waste of time.
So it all depends on what happens in the first game, it really does, because the mindset has got to change. If City beat Arsenal, they go eight points clear and so a draw is no good to United, while Chelsea will be 12 points behind.
So it all depends on that first game as if Arsenal go and do something we do not expect them to do and win that game, then it is a different game and then a draw suits both alright.
But I am going to go 1-0 Chelsea as I just think United are going to go for it and Chelsea will just make a chance or two before the end of the game.
Paul predicts: 1-0 (Sky Bet odds 21/10)
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Chelsea are Sky Bet's 7/5 favourites for the victory with Manchester United priced at 2/1 while a draw is a 21/10 chance. Jose Mourinho's men head to Stamford Bridge as 10/1 second favourites to win the Premier League while the hosts are 25/1 to defend their title. Alvaro Morata heads the first goalscorer market at 7/2, closely followed by Romelu Lukaku at 4/1, while Eden Hazard is Price Boosted from 4/1 to 5/1 to score in a Blues win.