Chelsea v Manchester United preview: Jose Mourinho back at Stamford Bridge
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Last Updated: 20/10/18 10:30am
Manchester United can alleviate some of the pressure on Jose Mourinho with a win at his old club Chelsea, live on Sky Sports.
United's 3-2 win over Newcastle before the international break may have saved Mourinho's job in the short-term, but this is still their third-worst start to a Premier League season, and defeat at Stamford Bridge could see them slip into the bottom half.
Mourinho has a poor record against Chelsea since he was sacked in his second spell in west London in 2015, and is yet to win an away game against the Blues since he took over at Manchester United a year later.
And questions over his future at Old Trafford will intensify if he is unable to arrest that run, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 11.30am on Saturday.
Things are looking a lot better for Chelsea, meanwhile, who sit joint top of the Premier League after an impressive start under Maurizio Sarri.
The Italian, highly rated for his work at Napoli, has implemented his style in rapid time at Stamford Bridge to lead them to an unbeaten start with eight games gone.
Much of that success has revolved around Eden Hazard, who told Sky Sports this week he would be content to stay at Chelsea for the rest of his career, and is the Premier League's top scorer with seven goals.
The Belgian has also made no secret of his admiration for his new manager, who is on course to help him deliver the most productive season of his career.
"I like this type of game. It's completely different than Conte or Mourinho before," he said. "We have more ball so for me it's not bad."
Antonio Rudiger is expected to shake off a groin problem to play for Chelsea in Saturday's Premier League clash with Manchester United.
Midfielder Ross Barkley is likely to be fit after a knock playing for England, but Ethan Ampadu is out with a knee injury sustained playing for Wales.
The Blues are set to be at full strength as they seek to extend their unbeaten run, their only loss in the Community Shield to Manchester City.
Manchester United are set to welcome midfielder Ander Herrera back to their squad.
Diogo Dalot, Marouane Fellaini, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw all picked up problems on international duty, while Mourinho revealed on Friday that some players had not yet made it back to the club.
Jesse Lingard and Marcos Rojo are expected to remain sidelined.
Can The Blues pile the pressure on Mourinho?
See Chelsea take on Man Utd on our dedicated Premier League channel.
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 16 home Premier League games against Manchester United (W10 D5 L1), a 2-3 defeat in October 2012.
- Manchester United have lost more Premier League games against Chelsea than against any other side (18), and the Blues are one of only two sides the Red Devils have lost more games against than they've won in the Premier League, along with Brighton.
- In all competitions, Man Utd haven't won at Stamford Bridge since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season (P6 W0 D1 L5), losing the last three trips by an aggregate score of 0-6.
- Games between Chelsea and Manchester United in the Premier League have produced 232 yellow cards - 17 more than any other fixture in the competition's history.
- Chelsea are looking to remain unbeaten in their first nine games to a Premier League season for the third time, also doing so in their title winning seasons of 2005-06 and 2014-15.
- Manchester United have lost three of their last six Premier League away games, winning two and drawing one.
- Manchester United have lost eight of their last 13 Premier League games in London (W4 D1) - as many as they'd lost in their previous 39 visits to the capital (W18 D13 L8).
- Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has lost four of his last five away matches in all competitions against sides he's formerly managed, including all three at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea as Man Utd manager.
- As well as being the highest scorer in the Premier League this season with seven goals, Chelsea's Eden Hazard is the first player to record 10 goal involvements in the competition this season (7 goals, 3 assists).
- No player has provided more Premier League assists this season than Chelsea's Olivier Giroud (4).
Over the years I've always said Manchester United turn up for these big games and seem to be able to grind it out, but at the moment they let in far too many goals. Their result against Newcastle covered over all the cracks. I've got to go with Chelsea, I think they will be too strong for United.
If United do lose, the pressure will almost certainly crank up again on Jose Mourinho. At the start of the season, we were talking about them being in the title race but now they are fighting for the top four. They are seven points off the top of the table at the moment and with a defeat on Saturday the gap could increase to 10, that's good night in terms of the title race.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (14/1 with Sky Bet)