Undefeated Chelsea are involved in a blockbuster match to restart the Premier League season after the international break as Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge.
United are currently trailing behind the rest of the top six as they sit seven points behind Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, who occupy the top three places in the table.
Many pundits believe that Alexis Sanchez’s last minute winner against Newcastle before the international break helped save the job of manager Jose Mourinho, meaning he remains in charge for a return to his old stomping ground.
Maurizio Sarri could be set to heap more doubt on Mourinho’s long term future at Old Trafford, as the Blues go into the match as heavy favourites.
Chelsea have suffered two main injury concerns over the international break after going into their last league game with a clean bill of health.
Antonio Rudiger suffered a groin injury at the end of Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Southampton, with the increasingly influential defender now in a race to be fit in time for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
Ethan Amapdu, meanwhile, may only be a bit part player for Chelsea, but he pulled out of the Wales squad after their recent 4-1 defeat to Spain left him with a knee problem.
Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United have any players out with suspensions ahead of Saturday’s clash, while there are no players in danger of bans should they pick up yellow cards.
Chelsea Potential Starting Line-Up
Sarri faces another busy period handling his squad who will be battling for major honours on all fronts. The Manchester United game will be a big priority for Chelsea, with BATE Borisov to come in the Europa League on Thursday.
Willian is the only player at the club to have started in each of the last six games though Pedro remains a potential starter.
Chelsea have stuck religiously to a 4-3-3 formation this season and have operated with tactical consistancy. Alvaro Morata has scored in each of his last two games which might give Sarri some food for thought after opting to play Olivier Giroud ahead of the £70m striker in recent weeks.
Ross Barkley may well retain his place ahead of Mateo Kovacic but the rest of the line up looks set to be quite predictable, especially in comparison to that of United.
Man Utd Team News
Mourinho has suffered the blow of having both Nemanja Matic and Luke Shaw added to the list of injury concerns ahead of their trip to west London, with the pair having both pulled out of their respective international squads since the Newcastle clash.
Scott McTominay has been a regular in recent weeks and he is also battling for fitness ahead of the Saturday afternoon kick off while Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard are expected to remain on the sidelines.
Marcos Rojo is long term absentee with a knee problem.
TV channel & kick-off time
The match at Stamford Bridge kicks off at 12:30pm BST on Saturday, with live coverage available in the UK on Sky Sports Premier League from 11:30am and Sky Sports Main Event from midday. In the U.S. the game will be shown on NBCSN at 7:30am ET.
Best Opta Match Facts
Games between Chelsea and Manchester United in the Premier League have produced 232 yellow cards – 17 more than any other fixture in the competition’s history.
Chelsea are looking to remain unbeaten in their first nine games to a Premier League season for the third time, also doing so in their title winning seasons of 2005-06 and 2014-15.
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has lost four of his last five away matches in all competitions against sides he’s formerly managed, including all three at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea as Man Utd manager.
As well as being the highest scorer in the Premier League this season with seven goals, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard is the first player to record 10 goal involvements in the competition this season (7 goals, 3 assists).
No player has provided more Premier League assists this season than Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud (4).