Man Utd vs Chelsea predictions: Red Devils aim to secure top-four finish
- Manchester United need just a point to guarantee top-four finish
- Each of the last five league meetings between these two sides have ended all-square
- Recommended bet: Draw
Champions League qualification has been Manchester United's main target since the start of the season and they can achieve it with one game to spare if they take at least a point from their home clash with Chelsea.
Erik ten Hag's side started off the month with 1-0 losses away to Brighton and West Ham, but they have since settled the nerves with successes at home to Wolves (2-0) and away to Bournemouth (1-0) and have subsequently opened up a three-point lead over fifth-placed Liverpool.
There is far less riding on the game for Chelsea, who can finish no higher than 11th.
The Blues are hoping to bounce back after they were beaten 1-0 at Manchester City on Sunday.
Marcus Rashford (illness) is back in contention and will rival Jadon Sancho for an attacking berth.
Lisandro Martinez (ankle), Donny van de Beek and Marcel Sabitzer (both knee) are ruled out and Tom Heaton (ankle) is a doubt so Jack Butland may continue as David De Gea's deputy.
Chelsea have suffered from a lot of injuries this season and are missing at least eight for the trip to Old Trafford with Benoit Badiashile, N'Golo Kante, Mason Mount (all groin), Armando Broja (knee), Reece James, Marc Cucurella, Ben Chilwell (all thigh) and Marcus Bettinelli (unspecified injury) ruled out.
Mateo Kovacic (minor injury) is a doubt, so Frank Lampard may persist with Enzo Fernandez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield.
Manchester United's last five league matches against Chelsea have seen the points shared.
However, United have won 13 of 17 Premier League home games and will finish the season with the second-best home record in the division if they win their remaining matches.
Chelsea can finish no higher than 11th and are assured of a bottom-half finish for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign.
The Blues have lost seven of their last nine fixtures.
Manchester United have been far superior to Chelsea this season but the teams drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge in October and could share the points at Old Trafford.
Backing United at odds-on looks fraught with danger because of the context of the game (they need just a point to clinch Champions League qualification) and their unconvincing recent performances.
The Red Devils have lost two of four matches this month and needed a spectacular Casemiro overhead kick to register a hard-fought single-goal success at Bournemouth last Saturday.
United have the added insurance of Sunday's match at home to Fulham but they will want to finish the job at the first opportunity.
However, they will be respectful of Chelsea, who have some talented individuals and are potentially dangerous opponents if they turn up with the right attitude.
There have been far too many occasions when Blues’ players have looked like they are going through the motions.
But they looked a decent side in last Sunday's narrow loss at Manchester City and would have claimed at least a point had they shown a more clinical touch in front of goal.
Chelsea players should be motivated to make sure they are part of the plans for next season and they can earn a point against United.
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