Bailly to start? 3-4-1-2: Man Utd predicted XI to face Chelsea

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Manchester United return from our 0-0 draw at Sevilla to take on Chelsea in one of the most-anticipated games of the Premier League weekend.

The game has been moved to Sunday for television coverage to give us an extra day’s rest after our match in the South of Spain, whilst the Blues were held 1-1 at home by Barcelona 24 hours earlier.

We start the weekend three points ahead of Chelsea who are down in fourth, whilst Tottenham Hotspur are one point behind their London rivals, in the race for a Champions League place.

Ander Herrera was our latest injury casualty midweek with the latest update from the boss fearing that it could be a serious one.

Here’s the team I think Jose Mourinho will field against his former side:

Goalkeeper: David de Gea

The Spaniard made two more excellent saves midweek and is certain to start at Old Trafford on Sunday.  David de Gea currently leads the race for the Golden Glove having kept the most Premier League clean sheets so far this season.

Defence: Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling

With Eric Bailly coming on in stoppage time at Huddersfield Town last Saturday and making the bench for the Champions League midweek I believe the Ivorian will start this one. And with Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind all still out, Victor Lindelof could keep his place in the starting lineup as part of a back three, as we did at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. Chris Smalling will maintain his place.

Midfield: Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ashley Young; Jesse Lingard

A back three means that Antonio Valencia will be pushed into a wingback role but still needs to make his defensively duties a priority as Eden Hazard is in good form for Chelsea right now.  I think Ashley Young will get the nod ahead of Luke Shaw as he is more experienced in this type of role.  Paul Pogba should make his return to the starting XI after getting through the game as an early substitute midweek and Nemanja Matic will be his partner to break up several Chelsea attacks through the middle.  Jesse Lingard should return in the number 10 role with his pace being a better threat to the Chelsea defence than Juan Mata.

Attack: Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku

Alexis Sanchez could be handed a free role to play alongside Romelu Lukaku in attack.  Although the Belgian striker failed to get an effort in on target midweek he did score a brace at Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup last weekend.  The Chelsea defence isn’t playing too great.  Meanwhile the Chilean has the skill to unlock the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in their back three.

Here’s our team on paper:

 

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