Tears were shed across the planet as Manchester United announced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exit from Old Trafford following a 4-1 loss to then 17th-place Watford. Until United finds a new interim manager — which apparently will be Ralf Rangnick, also known as a “father figure” to German coaches such as Jürgen Klopp and our own Thomas Tuchel —, they will have former midfielder Michael Carrick at helm.
His first outing as manager did not go bad as late goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho got Manchester United a 2-0 win away at Villarreal in the Champions League group stage. But it does not look like Carrick made any major tactical changes to United outside of using the aforementioned Sancho in his favoured right winger position, which turned out to be the correct decision as the young Englishman got his first ever goal with the Red Devils.
So even though United are lacking in recent form, they can be a threat. Chelsea will need to be at their best to beat Carrick for the first time in his very short career; and hope their closest Premier League opponents Manchester City and Liverpool slip in their meetings with West Ham and Southampton, respectively, so the race to the trophy can loosen up a bit.
They will have to do so without many of their key players. Ben Chilwell was lost until at least the end of the year due to an ACL injury during our 4-0 win over Juventus last Tuesday. N’Golo Kanté was also injured, but thankfully it was not as bad — there is a very slim chance he gets to take part in tomorrow’s game. Fellow midfielder Mateo Kovacic is still out of contention. And striker Romelu Lukaku, while already back from injury and available to play, most likely will not start as Tuchel does not want to change a winning (and high-performing) lineup.
With all this in mind... Choose wisely.