Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be assessing his options for the trip to Chelsea when he returns to England on Friday.
The Reds have been on a warm-weather training camp in Spain but the focus is now very much on Monday night’s Premier League clash with Frank Lampard’s side, a reverse of the opening fixture of the 2019/20 campaign, when United won 4-0.
Chelsea are currently fourth in the table, four places and six points ahead of Ole’s men, so the match represents a real chance to close the gap in the race for Champions League spots.
United have already won at Stamford Bridge this term, 2-1 in the Carabao Cup, but the scorer of both goals that night in October, Marcus Rashford, is sidelined with a back injury.
New striker Odion Ighalo is set to be in the squad to pep up the attacking options, despite missing the Marbella camp to train, with the support of the club, using a personalised fitness programme in central Manchester.
Anthony Martial can be expected to start against a team he has a good record against – three goals and an assist in five meetings with the capital club.
Our other January acquisitions, Bruno Fernandes and Nathan Bishop, did link up with the squad on the continent. Fernandes looks primed to make his first away appearance for his new club, following his debut at Old Trafford against Wolves, while Bishop is likely to be on stand-by as third-choice keeper, due to Lee Grant’s wrist injury.
Axel Tuanzebe, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Scott McTominay have been stepping up their return to fitness but the game may come too soon for them. Fosu-Mensah told us he had a small issue with his quad but hopes to be 100 per cent fit later this month. Paul Pogba has remained on the sidelines after a foot operation.
Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic is back from suspension and available to feature against his former club.
90 in 20: United 4 Chelsea 0Video
CHELSEA’S TEAM NEWS
The Blues will be boosted by the imminent return of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic, with both close to making comebacks. Whether they can play on Monday night is undecided but there is the feeling they may be in contention.
Marco van Ginkel is the only Chelsea man definitely ruled out, while youngster Billy Gilmour has been promoted to the senior squad on a permanent basis.
Lampard has a decision to make in goal after selecting Willy Caballero ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga for their last outing, against Leicester City.
Anthony Martial will hope to continue his good scoring record against Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will probably discuss his team plans in more detail in Friday’s press conference, which will be available to watch in the Official App at the later time of 15.15 GMT.
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