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sábado, 22 de outubro de 2016
PREVIEW: CHELSEA V MANCHESTER UNITED
How can I follow the game? Sunday's Stamford Bridge clash kicks off at 16:00 BST and will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports. MUTV’s live matchday programme begins at 15:00 BST and subscribers can watch the game in full from midnight. You can also keep up with all the action as it happens via ManUtd.com's live match blog and by following our official Twitter account @ManUtd.
So is this game significant for anyone in particular at United? Just a bit. Although mentions in the media may be hard to spot, this will be Jose Mourinho's first match at his former home ground since his second spell as Chelsea manager ended last December. As the man himself said in our story on Friday afternoon: "I knew that working in England, staying in the Premier League, I would, sooner or later, have to play against Chelsea and I would have to go to Stamford Bridge. The computer has decided that I have to go now, so we go."
Is this a good time to go to Chelsea? Possibly not. Although Antonio Conte's side failed to win over 90 minutes in September, they have started October much more impressively with two victories and no goals conceded so far. Their 2-0 win at Hull City just before the international break was followed by the 3-0 home demolition of Leicester City - the same team they knocked out of the EFL Cup after extra time last month. However, United's confidence is "very high" according to Jesse Lingard, who scored his team's fourth goal in Thursday's 4-1 win over Fenerbahce in the Europa League. The Reds are now unbeaten in six games.
How did last season's trip to west London go? Reasonably well for United, who took the lead through Lingard's Goal of the Month winner just after the hour mark. Diego Costa denied the Reds a victory with his injury-time equaliser but 1-1 was still a decent result for the visitors, considering Chelsea had won the previous three meetings at the Bridge in the League and FA Cup.
What's the team news? Mourinho is hopeful that Chris Smalling will have recovered by Sunday after a muscular injury forced his half-time withdrawal from the Fenerbahce match. Henrikh Mkhitaryan sat in the stands on Thursday night as his absence stretched to an eighth game but the United boss said afterwards that his Armenian acquisition will be "ready very soon." As for the hosts, their captain John Terry is available after overcoming an ankle problem but fellow defenders Branislav Ivanovic and Kurt Zouma and midfielder Cesc Fabregas are still out. Conte will assess attacking stars Willian and Oscar after both returned from Brazil following family bereavements.
Who are Chelsea's key men? Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are seemingly back in the kind of form that helped Mourinho to win his third Premier League championship with Chelsea two seasons ago. Both of them scored for their countries during the recent international break - Hazard for Belgium, Costa for Spain - and in the league victory over Leicester on their return to club football. Behind them, the man they signed from the title-winning Foxes, N'Golo Kante, is doing the important but sometimes under-appreciated work as a defensive midfielder.
Did you know? Seven of the last nine matches between the clubs in all competitions have ended 0-0, 1-1 or 1-0 to Chelsea but, in the calendar year of 2012, three meetings at Stamford Bridge produced a remarkable 20 goals. In February, there was a thrilling 3-3 draw; in October, United won 3-2 in the Premier League before losing 5-4 after extra-time in the League Cup three days later.
What are this weekend's other Premier League fixtures?
Saturday (15:00 BST unless stated)
Bournemouth v Tottenham - 12:30
Arsenal v Middlesbrough
Burnley v Everton
Hull City v Stoke City
Leicester City v Crystal Palace
Swansea v Watford
West Ham v Sunderland
Liverpool v West Brom - 17:30