Chelsea find themselves out of the top-four race and will be looking to cast a blow to Manchester United’s own Champions League ambitions at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues could be 18 points adrift of fourth by kickoff, despite going nine games unbeaten in the Premier League since Guus Hiddink’s return as interim manager.
Hiddink’s boys were frustrated by Heurelho Gomes in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Watford. Will the Dutchman make any changes for the visit of the Red Devils?
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GK: Thibaut Courtois
Will go head-to-head against arguably the Premier League’s other standout goalkeeper at the Bridge.
RB: Branislav Ivanovic
May not have slept well last night if he has watched Anthony Martial’s recent performances. The Frenchman has been on-fire of late and Ivanovic will need to be on top of his game.
CB: John Terry
A week after confirming that he has not been offered a new contract by his boyhood club, Terry will face one of his greatest rivals for probably the last time – they may yet still meet in the FA Cup.
CB: Kurt Zouma
If Terry is the past, Zouma, 21, is the future of Chelsea’s defence and will get the nod over Gary Cahill.
LB: Cesar Azpilicueta
Has started more Premier League games for the Blues this season than any other player – 22 out of 24.
CM: John Obi Mikel
Mikel has started Chelsea’s last six league games after being out of favour under Jose Mourinho.
CM: Nemanja Matic
The Serbian has been well down on his form from last season, but Hiddink will still want him alongside Mikel in midfield to give Chelsea extra protection against the likes of former playmaker Juan Mata.
Has been overtaken by Diego Costa as Chelsea’s top scorer for the season in recent weeks. Might feel that he is due one of his free-kick specials as he has only one league strike to his name since October.
AMC: Cesc Fabregas
Missed the reverse fixture between these sides before the New Year, but is back now and close to his best.
AML: Eden Hazard
Has made two sub appearances in Chelsea’s last two league games and ended a 30-match goal drought in the FA Cup win over MK Dons. Oscar scored a hat-trick that day, but it is time for Hazard to start.
ST: Diego Costa
The Spain international relishes the big-game atmosphere and has the potential to be the match-winner if he can control his temperament. Him v Chris Smalling could be the pivotal personal battle.
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