Early team news for Man United v Chelsea on 25 May 2023
Manchester United’s penultimate game of the Premier League season, against Chelsea, presents an opportunity to clinch a top-four place.
The Reds need only a point to join Newcastle United in qualifying for the 2023/24 Champions League, along with Manchester City and Arsenal.
However, the Magpies’ draw with Leicester City means Erik ten Hag’s men will rise to third place with a victory, providing ample incentive to beat the Blues and ensure a night to remember at Old Trafford.
The big question is whether Marcus Rashford will be fit enough to feature. Our leading goalscorer recovered from injury in order to resume training last week, only to pick up an illness that ruled him out of the 1-0 win at Bournemouth.
However, he was pictured working at Carrington in our new training kit on Tuesday, and it is hoped he can be available again for our final three matches of 2023/24 with Fulham and Manchester City, in the Emirates FA Cup final, still to come.
United were unchanged on the sunny south coast on Saturday, with substitute Scott McTominay making his first appearance since scoring in the 2-0 triumph against Everton last month. Alejandro Garnacho continues to push for a start after his return to fitness.
Lisandro Martinez and Marcel Sabitzer are out of the run-in and Donny van de Beek has only just returned to training on the grass, as he is also not pencilled in to return until pre-season.
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is back with the group but Jack Butland retained his place on the bench at the Vitality Stadium.
CHELSEA’S TEAM NEWS
Frank Lampard could be without as many as 10 players for the trip to Old Trafford, as the Blues face a second consecutive assignment in Manchester, following the 1-0 weekend defeat to his former club City.
Benoit Badiashile is definitely out as he requires groin surgery, adding to a long list of absentees. Although we await Lampard’s press conference, he looks set to be unable to call upon Marcus Bettinelli, Armando Broja, Reece James and N’Golo Kante while there are big doubts over Ben Chilwell, Marc Cucurella, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
Joao Felix has also been flagged as a concern after being withdrawn from the substitutes’ bench on Sunday, with young keeper Ethan Wady taking his place.
Kalidou Koulibaly returned from a hamstring problem at the Etihad Stadium and the Blues do have a big squad to select from, with recent recruits Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke among the substitutes last time out.
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