Manchester United visit Chelsea on Saturday aiming to prove they can be classed as genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season.
United head into the game eighth in the table, seven points off top spot having lost three of their opening eight games this term.
Chelsea are currently level on 20 points with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the standings and they are favourites in the betting with 1xbet to win this weekend.
United boss Jose Mourinho will head back to Stamford Bridge with a squad that could be missing up to eight regular players.
Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini are all doubtful, while Marcos Rojo and Jesse Lingard will miss out once again.
Luke Shaw pulled out of the England squad with a knock and it remains to be seen whether he will feature against Chelsea.
United welcomed Alexis Sanchez back to Carrington later than the rest of their international stars due to the travelling distance from South America and his fitness will need to be assessed.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has no major injury concerns to contend with and he is likely to field the same side that started in their impressive 3-0 victory at Southampton two weeks ago.
The Red Devils will need to overcome a poor recent record against Chelsea if they are to take anything from this weekend’s game.
United have won just two of their last 16 meetings in all competitions and they haven’t beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the league since 2012.
Defending has been a major concern for United this term, with 14 goals conceded in eight games demonstrating their well-publicised weaknesses at the back.
Chelsea have shipped just five goals this term and they are yet to be beaten on home soil. They have averaged over two goals per game at home and will provide a formidable test for Mourinho’s side.
Despite this being just the ninth game of the season it is a match United simply cannot afford to lose. A 10-point gap between themselves and Chelsea would be a huge margin to overcome, but reducing it to four could be a huge confidence booster.
With Everton and Bournemouth next up in the league, a minimum seven point return from the next three matches is a must with the big derby game against City during November now looming large.
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