The performance against Spurs was arguably the finest under Erik ten Hag so far and if they are to continue on building momentum, a win against Chelsea, who seem rejuvenated under Graham Potter, would be welcomed.
One thing is for certain, Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be part of the matchday squad against the London side. Ten Hag has dropped him after it emerged that the forward had refused to come on against Spurs in midweek.
With that in mind, we at Football Fancast predict the starting XI that the Dutchman will go with tonight under the Stamford Bridge floodlights…
David De Gea will start in goal and he will be aiming to record his fourth consecutive clean sheet.
Diogo Dalot will start again at right back, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, who are building a solid partnership, forming the heart of the defence. Luke Shaw completes the back four by featuring in his usual left-back position.
This is where it gets a bit tricky for Ten Hag. Summer arrival Antony will start on the right wing, with Bruno Fernandes reprising his role against Spurs by slotting in behind the striker. With Ronaldo not in the matchday squad and Sancho’s form being hit or miss of late, Anthony Elanga will be given a start on the left wing.
The £200k-per-week forward – who Manchester Evening News writer Rich Fay once dubbed “a joy to watch” – has been in good form, however, scoring three goals and grabbing two assists in ten Premier League matches this season and will fancy his chances of adding to this tally against Chelsea.
Ten Hag will be hoping to replicate the midweek performance and secure another three points to bolster his side’s Champions League ambitions.