Whenever Chelsea host Manchester United, it's usually a must see match for neutral fans due to the immense quality of both sides. While the matchup still features two quality sides, the state of current state of Manchester United will likely see Chelsea being looked at as heavy favorites to win.
The visitors have won five of their last six Premier League matches, but that statistic is a bit deceiving. United have lost three out of their last four in all competitions, and haven't exactly been facing the top competition in England during that stretch. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been on a bit of a roll. They've now won their last five in all competitions, and haven't lost a match since December 17, 2013.
For Chelsea, a win on Sunday would be massive. Both Arsenal and Manchester City took maximum points on Saturday, meaning Chelsea will need to do the same to move back within two points of the top. It will be the first truly tricky fixture that any of those three sides have faced during the second half of the season, and would be a nice statement to make as we approach the close of the transfer window.
Speaking of that transfer window, Chelsea will have their first signing of the period available for this one, though Jose Mourinho has stated that he won't start. Nemanja Matic could well be on the bench though, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a cameo appearance if we're trying to kill the game off during the second half.
Chelsea have a losing record against United all time, both home and on the road. The Blues have gone unbeaten in the last five meetings though, winning three times and drawing a pair including winning both of the contests played in London.
Opponent: Manchester United
View from the enemy: The Busby Babe
Date/Time: Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 16:00 GMT (11:00 am EST, 8:00 am PST, 21:30 IST)
Venue/Location: Stamford Bridge, London, England
Forecast: It will be cool and partly cloudy, but it doesn't sound as if we'll be looking at rain. Yay!
Chelsea FC squad news: The Blues are in relatively good shape on the injury front, but they'll be without either Branislav ivanovic or Marco van Ginkel for this one. Frank Lampard is available for selection, though he's not likely fit enough to start. Nemanja Matic completed his transfer in time to be eligible, while Ryan Bertrand and Kevin De Bruyne have both left the club.
Manchester United squad news: David Moyes has some serious injury issues to worry about, with both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie having already been ruled out. Joining them on the sidelines will be Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young, Patrice Evra, and Nani. Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, and Jonny Evans are also banged up, though all three are potentially healthy enough to play.
United have also sent the enigmatic Anderson on loan to Fiorentina, though they've decided to hold off on sending Wilfried Zaha away until their injury crisis abates. The worthless twin (Fabio) will also be unavailable due to a red card suspension from a dangerous tackle against Swansea.
Television/Streaming: This one will be on Sky Sports 1 and SkyGo in the UK, NBCSN and NBC Live Extra in the US, and Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 2 in India. Chelsea TV will have live audio during the game, and you can check listings for any other areas here.