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Old 14-04-2017, 11:19 PM   #5
Andi Istiabudi
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Default Re: [EPL] Manchester United vs Chelsea



MATCH PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED V CHELSEA

When and where can I watch it? United's eagerly-awaited encounter against the Blues at Old Trafford on Easter Sunday will kick off at 16:00 BST and will be televised live in the UK on Sky Sports. Fans can also follow the action via ManUtd.com's live match blog and the club's Twitter account @ManUtd. MUTV subscribers can tune into Match Day Live from 15:00 BST for all the build-up to the game and then listen to live radio commentary, before watching the 90 minutes in full from midnight.

Set the scene for me… After the European excursion in Belgium, it's a quick turnaround and back to the bread and butter of the Premier League for the Reds this weekend, for what promises to be one of the toughest games of the campaign. Antonio Conte's Chelsea are already looking champions-elect, with a seven-point lead over second-placed Tottenham at the top of the table, and have been in formidable form for much of the season. United boss Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, will be hoping it's third time lucky against his former club, after experiencing two defeats against the Blues this term, as the Reds seek to maintain the pressure on our top-four rivals with eight league games remaining. United were boosted by Arsenal's 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday night and head into the weekend just one place and four points behind Manchester City, who currently occupy fourth position. As is usually the case when these two heavyweights collide, it promises to be another thrilling battle and the Reds will undoubtedly relish the challenge which awaits.

How are both sides doing? The Reds come into the contest on the back of Thursday's Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw against Anderlecht in Brussels and hold a slender advantage heading into next week's return tie at Old Trafford. Domestically, United boast an impressive record of 21 games unbeaten in the league since October's loss against Chelsea in the capital and moved up to fifth place after last weekend's morale-boosting 3-0 win at Sunderland. However, the Reds have found wins hard to come by at home in the league this term, drawing the last three games at the Theatre of Dreams. Chelsea, meanwhile, have bounced back from a surprise home defeat by Crystal Palace with impressive wins over Manchester City and Bournemouth and have only lost four of their 31 league games this term, with two of those defeats coming on the road against London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.

Any early team news? The Reds could welcome back David De Gea in goal after the Spaniard missed the Sunderland game with a minor hip problem and Sergio Romero continued his run of playing in most of this season's Europa League ties against Anderlecht, when Antonio Valencia also returned after two games out. But Juan Mata misses out against his former club, while Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are also sidelined again through injury. Chelsea, meanwhile, have a clean bill of health and a full squad at their disposal.

Haven't we played Chelsea already? Yes, the Reds have already faced the Blues twice this season at Stamford Bridge but were on the losing side on both occasions. Jose Mourinho endured a difficult return to his former club with a 4-0 defeat in the league before the Reds were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup at the quarter-final stage last month following a narrow 1-0 loss, in which Ander Herrera was harshly sent off in the first half for a second yellow card.

How have we fared against the Blues in the past? The Reds have a good record overall against the west London outfit historically. Sunday's match will be the 177th meeting between the sides in all competitions and the Reds have won 75, drawn 49 and lost 52 so far. Chelsea have had the better of recent encounters, however, with the Reds looking for a first win over the Blues since October 2012. Last season's corresponding fixture at the Theatre of Dreams produced an entertaining contest, despite finishing goalless.

Who's the man in the middle? Bobby Madley is the referee for Sunday's game, with the Yorkshire-based official taking charge of his fourth United fixture of the season – all of which have come at Old Trafford, against Stoke City, Tottenham and Watford respectively. He will be assisted by Gary Beswick and Peter Kirkup, while Andre Marriner has been assigned to the role of fourth official.

Who else is playing this weekend? There is the usual full fixture list over the Easter weekend, spread over Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Here's the full programme…

Saturday 15 April (15:00 BST unless stated)
Tottenham Hotspur v Bournemouth (12:30 BST)
Crystal Palace v Leicester City
Everton v Burnley
Stoke City v Hull City
Sunderland v West Ham United
Watford v Swansea City
Southampton v Manchester City (17:30 BST)

Sunday 16 April
West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool (13:30 BST)
Manchester United v Chelsea (16:00 BST)

Monday 17 April
Middlesbrough v Arsenal (20:00 BST)

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