Manchester United vs Chelsea news: Home advantage won't be enough to save reckless Red Devils

Manchester United host Chelsea on Thursday night and will want to avoid three successive defeats after losses to Liverpool and Arsenal.

Manchester United have turned their nose up at every opportunity to fight their way back into contention for the top four.

A miserable run of just one win in their last five league games has left Ralf Rangnick's side sixth in the table and six points adrift from the revered Champions League qualification spots.

As for Chelsea, the Blues are sat comfortably in third, with a game in hand on London rivals Arsenal beneath them.

With the club set to endure a rocky summer with new owners inbound, Thomas Tuchel's squad will want to finish the season well and a win at Old Trafford would be a strong statement of intent.

When: Thursday, April 28 (20:00 BST)

Where: Old Trafford, Manchester

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event

Or follow the game live via our Match Centre

Who is the referee for Manchester United vs Chelsea?

Mike Dean

Mike Dean is the man with the whistle for Thursday's clash. The 53-year-old is never far from the drama, and he's bound to be involved in this blockbuster fixture.

He's taken charge of four Manchester United fixtures already this season, and handed out an astounding 18 yellow cards in the process, including seven in one match during their 1-0 win against Wolves back in August.

As for Chelsea, Dean has only overseen one of their Premier League fixtures this season, and Tuchel's side failed to pick up all three points as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Brighton back in December. Dean handed out five yellow cards in that match.

Mike Dean 2021/22 stats: Appearances (21), yellow cards (70), red cards (2), penalties (5)

Recent form

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes looks dejected during the Premier League match at Anfield

Without doubt Chelsea head into Thursday's clash in better form, but even then they've lost two of their last five.

After narrowly beating Newcastle United 1-0, Chelsea suffered a shock 4-1 loss to Brentford at the start of April, with all four goals scored by the Bees in the second half.

Tuchel's side bounced back with a convincing 6-0 drubbing of Southampton, before mixed results in London derbies, with a 4-2 loss to Arsenal followed by a 1-0 win over West Ham last weekend.

Despite starting the season with a watertight defence, Chelsea have started to leak goals more than ever, with Ben Chilwell and Antonio Rudiger's injuries proving costly.

However, United look in no shape to capitalise on Chelsea's defensive struggles - the Red Devils have scored just five goals in their last five matches, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting four of them.

What's more, Rangnick's side look even worse on the back foot than they do going forward. Their backline is prone to making vital mistakes, and 11 goals conceded in their last five will be a real worry for them on Thursday night.

To give United supporters a little ounce of hope, they are currently unbeaten at home in their last seven league fixtures, but even then too many draws have seen them slump down the league standings.

Players in form

Timo Werner Chelsea Oct21

Despite suffering a slow start to life at Chelsea, Timo Werner has burst into form in recent weeks, scoring four in the last five games.

He looks to be ahead of Romelu Lukaku in Tuchel's pecking order at the minute, and his direct running could cause a problem for this unorganised United backline.

Mason Mount is another to keep an eye on, the England international has been at the heart of Chelsea's attack for much of the 2021/22 season, and he's already racked up 10 goals and nine assists in the Premier League.

For United, Cristiano Ronaldo remains their go-to man for the goals. The Portuguese striker added his 16th league goal of his season last weekend against Arsenal, and he looks United's best hope of finding the net by some distance.

Past meetings

Chelsea vs Man Utd

The last three meetings between these sides have all ended in draws, with two goalless stalemates along the way.

The reverse fixture this season ended 1-1 at Stamford Bridge, with Michael Carrick on the sidelines for Manchester United. Jadon Sancho opened the scoring minutes into the second half, but Jorginho netted a 69th-minute penalty to ensure the points were shared.

Before that, both of last season's meetings ended goalless. Chelsea were the last side to come out on top in this particular game, with the Blues winning 3-1 in the FA Cup semi-finals back in July 2020. Mike Dean was in charge of that match too.

Last 10 meetings:

Man Utd wins: 4

Draws: 5

Chelsea: 1

Man Utd goals: 15

Chelsea goals: 8

Managers' thoughts

Thomas Tuchel

Ahead of the clash, Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick simply urged his side to finish as well as possible.

"We have four more games to play, the next two games are at home at Old Trafford and we will try to get as many points and win as many games as we possibly can.

"In order to do that we need to play on the best level we possibly can. Chelsea is a good team but we know that if we play well it's possible to win the game tomorrow."

Thomas Tuchel was quick to warn his side not to focus on United's poor form of late, and pointed out that Thursday's opposition have plenty of quality in their squad.

"I'm personally very happy to play against Manchester United at Old Trafford. I arrive at a strong club, with a strong club. I'm happy to have this match and it will always be a big match for me no matter what form they are in.

"That's why we prepare in the best possible way. We focus on their last matches, we should not get confused by their lack of points, their squad is full of quality."

Predicted line-ups

Harry Maguire David de Gea Man Utd Apr22

Luke Shaw, Fred, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani are expected to remain sidelined for Thursday's clash, while captain Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho have picked up new injuries this week.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka could replace Diogo Dalot at right-back for United, while Marcus Rashford could step in for the injured Sancho out wide.

Man Utd line-up: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Telles; Matic, McTominay; Elanga, Fernandes, Rashford; Ronaldo

As for Chelsea, the Blues look to be bolstered by the return of Reece James, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, which will help Tuchel tighten up his defence.

The trio may not all start on Thursday but are expected to be included in the matchday squad. Mateo Kovacic and Ben Chilwell will remain absent through injury.

Chelsea line-up: Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Azpilicueta; James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Werner

Manchester United vs Chelsea prediction

Despite enjoying a bit of home form in recent months, it won't be enough to save United from a third successive defeat.

Chelsea have little to play for at the end of the season, but will want to finish the campaign well before the inevitable takeover this summer.

All in all, a 3-1 Chelsea win is on the cards.

READ MORE: Five EFL managers with Premier League futures, including Michael Duff and Wayne Rooney

Latest news