Sunday’s last-gasp victory over West Ham United has maintained Chelsea’s comfortable position in third place, and as we head into the final month and the last six games, all we need is eight points to guarantee at least fourth.
That’s not to say that we should let our focus and commitment wonder. In fact, we’ll have to work even harder to maintain it and keep the levels high not only to indeed ensure a comfortable finish, but also to stay ready for the FA Cup final in three weeks.
And it certainly would be nice to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 2013 as well, while extending our club-record 8-match away win streak in all competitions.
Date / Time: Thursday, April 28, 2022, 19.45 BST; 2:45pm EDT; 12:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England England
Referee: Mike Dean (on pitch); John Brooks (VAR) — Mike Dean’s retiring at the end of the season, so his last game refereeing the Blues
Forecast: Cloudy and cool
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); USA Network, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport MaXimo 1 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Manchester United team news: Four more games to go in a season to forget for the Red Devils after the promise of last year’s second place finish. They are probably out of the race for the top-4 at this point and are not assured of top-6 or top-7 either (West Ham, Wolves still in it). They have just 2 wins in 10 in all competitions, both at home, and have lost three of four with the one win a narrow 3-2 triumph over bottom of the table Norwich City.
It’s all about the future now of course, with Ajax Amsterdam head coach Erik ten Hag already appointed as the man in charge starting next season. Presumably, the squad will have large-scale changes as well.
United do lead the league in injuries at the moment, with Harry Maguire (knee) and Jadon Sancho (tonsillitis) the latest to be ruled out. They join Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Edinson Cavani, Fred, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in being spared the angst of supporters for the moment. Young Mason Greenwood is out on bail, but remains suspended and stood down from the team indefinitely while the shocking legal case against him is ongoing. Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the team over the weekend following the death of his newborn baby boy. He scored United’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal; it was his 100th career Premier League goal, giving him 22 in all competitions for the season.
View from the enemy: The Busby Babe
Chelsea team news: Mateo Kovačić (ankle), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles), Ben Chilwell (ACL), and Ross Barkley (being Ross Barkley) remain out with injury or illness. Antonio Rüdiger (groin), Reece James (unknown), and Andreas Christensen (the [SHIRTS]) are questionable but trending towards being available for selection.
We’ve had plenty of drama on and off the pitch over the past few weeks and months — never a boring day! — but hopefully Sunday’s win will have stabilized the ship a bit. Meanwhile, the club’s sale could see some major progress soon as well, with perhaps a winning bid named before the end of this week.
Previously: Our recent record against United is horrendous, especially in the league where we’ve not beaten them since 2017. Our last win at Old Trafford came back in 2013, when a pre-United Juan Mata (going on nearly a decade now since he left us) got the late winner and David Luiz had good laugh at his good friend Rafael’s expense.