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Manchester United vs Chelsea – Premier League Match Preview

The second of the two Premier League clashes that are on offer today takes us to Old Trafford as old adversaries Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte once again lead their squads into battle as the battle to finish in the top four continues to intensify.

You could also say the personal battle between messers Mourinho and Conte has intensified as of late with a number of barbed comments being thrown backwards and forwards between the two managers, today though it will be the actions on the pitch that will end up talking the loudest.

It is not just bragging rights up for grabs though it is the aim to try and finish as the best of the rest while also keeping their top four hopes intact, in terms of the latter a lot depends on whether Tottenham can do their bit just hours before.

But regardless of that Manchester United will be looking to regain second spot in the table after being leapfrogged by Liverpool yesterday while also making sure that Chelsea do not close the gap between the two sides to nothing more than goal difference.

Should Chelsea earn something of an unlikely 3-0 win on the road today then they would leapfrog United into third place, but even if Chelsea were to win by a smaller margin it would certainly condense the teams from second to fifth and blow the race for the Champions League places wide open.

Both Manchester United and Chelsea were in Champions League action in midweek and both sides faced off against Spanish opposition. Wednesday night saw United face off with Sevilla in Southern Spain and were it not for David de Gea they could have gone into the second leg next month with a deficit to overturn.

While Anotonio Conte’s Chelsea played host to Barcelona at Stamford Bridge, a game that by all accounts they should have won. Willian may have opened the scoring but prior to that he managed to strike the posts twice, although the Brazilian would eventually get his goal he was let down at the other end.

All it took was one stray defensive pass for Andres Iniesta to latch on to, he could well have shot but he instead had the foresight to play in Lionel Messi and with the Argentine slotting home from the edge of the box it meant the Catalan giants had earned themselves a vital away goal.

It was a result that was slightly harsh on Chelsea as they now have something of an uphill struggle to deal with in March’s return to the Nou Camp. However there is another similarity between the two sides in action today and that is the fact that they are both in the F.A. Cup Quarter Finals.

Which you could argue is perhaps their most realistic chance of winning a trophy this season, United would eventually get the better of Huddersfield and VAR last Saturday evening while nearly 24 hours before that Chelsea had wrapped up proceedings against Hull by half time.

With all Premier League ties awaiting them in the Quarter-finals as Brighton and Leicester respectively are lined up as their opponents then the belief that the 2016 winners and 2017 runners-up can once again return to Wembley for at least Semi-finals appearance will be high.

But that is something that is on the horizon as the focus undoubtedly has to be on today, for United much of that will be on French international Paul Pogba, he did feature in midweek but only because he was drafted on as an early substitute. If anyone needs a big game performance it is him.

While for Chelsea the focus will be on who spearheads the attacking trio that Conte is more than likely to deploy, on Wednesday it saw Eden Hazard lead the line with both Alvaro Morata and Oliver Giroud on the bench, can any of the latter two make a cause to start later today?

That’s something we’ll know by 2pm and by 4pm we’ll know the outcome, it’s arguably a must win game for Chelsea while arguably a must not lose game for United. Both teams have lost two of their last three league outings and with such little to split them at the moment I will go for honours even.

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