The English Premier League is ready for the 2019/20 season. The first epic showdown of the season will see Manchester United host Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday. Both teams are expected to tussle for the Champions League places. That makes this game an early season six-pointer.
Adding spice to the contest is the presence of former players in the dugouts. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Frank Lampard will renew rivalries, this time as managers. United have shown great promise in the pre-season, but have failed to address concerns. Chelsea had to endure a transfer embargo, but look better than their hosts.
Manchester United Preview
The Red Devils finished outside the top-four last season. Getting back among the Champions League places is a must for the giants. However, central midfield and wide areas remain an issue for the hosts.
United have added right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and central defender Harry Maguire to the squad. Young and electric Daniel James will give them energy. However, a sulking Paul Pogba and limited striker options mean United have their task cut out. They won just seven points in ten matches against the ‘big six’ last season. United will be desperate to address that.
The Blues have their fan favourite Lampard back in the saddle and hope for a change of fortunes. Regardless of the Europa League triumph last season, Chelsea struggled for consistency. After finishing third last year, Chelsea will surely look to be among the title challengers this time around.
Eden Hazard’s sale is a huge loss, but Pulisic’s arrival is huge. So is the return of Tammy Abraham. He flourished on loan at Aston Villa and is almost like a new signing. Chelsea have never lost their first Premier League game on a Sunday. On 11 previous occasions, they have won eight and drawn three.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Marcus Rashford will be the key player for United this season. Starting with a goal will be top of his agenda.
N’Golo Kante has been a silent performer for Chelsea in their midfield engine. Another top-class performance looks to be the order of the day.
Ross Barkley had a very good pre-season and looks to be nearing his best. His energetic runs could make the difference for Chelsea.
Manchester United: 1 David de Gea 2 Aaron Wan-Bissaka 3 Victor Lindelof 4 Harry Maguire 5 Luke Shaw 6 Nemanja Matic 7 Paul Pogba 8 Paul McTominay 9 Daniel James 10 Marcus Rashford 11 Anthony Martial
Chelsea: 1 Kepa Arrizabalaga 2 Cesar Azpilicueta 3 Kurt Zouma 4 Andreas Christensen 5 Emerson 6 N’Golo Kante 7 Jorginho 8 Pedro 9 Ross Barkley 10 Christian Pulisic 11 Oliver Giroud
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