Chelsea and Manchester United go head to head in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, with all eyes on west London as Jose Mourinho faces his former club at Stamford Bridge for the third time since his dismissal in December 2015.
United were victorious in the most recent meeting between the clubs at Old Trafford in April, but Chelsea hammered Mourinho's team 4-0 in the reverse league fixture in November, while Antonio Conte also won in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge in March.
With four points currently separating fourth place Chelsea and second place United, a win for either side in this one will have significant implications at the top end of the table.
Chelsea and United are two of only six founder members to have played in every season of the Premier League, with a vast back catalogue of memorable fixtures between them.
One game in relatively recent memory that stands out is the 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge in February 2012, a contest that had everything from plenty of goals, to multiple penalties, incredible saves, and a dramatic second half comeback.
A Jonny Evans own goal had given Chelsea a first half lead, before further strikes from Juan Mata and David Luiz made it 3-0 with just 50 minutes on the clock. A penalty from Wayne Rooney soon reduced the deficit, and a second from the spot brought the score-line back to 3-2.
Javier Hernandez then popped up with United's equaliser in the closing stages. But the drama hadn't finished there as a spectacular save from David de Gea to deny future team-mate Mata, and another to stop Gary Cahill, prevented Chelsea from taking the lead again.
Under the stewardship of Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea would go on to finish that campaign by winning the Champions League against all the odds. United, meanwhile, lost the Premier League title on goal difference to Manchester City on the final day of the season.
Form (Last 10 games - all competitions)
Chelsea - W W W L L D W W W L (most recent)
Man Utd - W W W W D W L W W W (most recent)
Chelsea: N'Golo Kante is set to return from injury after missing the last six games. Victor Moses remains out, though, while there could be benched casualties after this week's Champions League drubbing in Rome - Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko are vulnerable.
Man Utd: The visitors remain without influential midfielders Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini, but are more hopeful that Jesse Lingard will shake off a minor knock in time. Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera are set to be recalled after being rested on Tuesday night.
Chelsea: (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Zappacosta, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Hazard, Pedro, Morata
Man Utd (3-4-3): De Gea; Bailly, Smalling, Jones; Valencia, Herrera, Matic, Young; Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Rashford
Despite his own team's better results over the last week-and-a-half, Jose Mourinho will most
likely fear a Chelsea backlash following their disastrous Champions League defeat.
At this stage it would be out of character for the United boss to set up for an away game against a big rival with anything other than a defensive mindset. A cagey affair wouldn't therefore be much of a surprise, with both managers probably happy to settle for a draw in the context.
Chelsea 1-1 Manchester United
For the next few weeks, I’m taking up the very exciting opportunity of teaming up with the innovative social media betting app BetBull, as my fellow writers and I are pitted against each other to see who can win the most money.
I’m going to be focusing on Chelsea, including them as part of a weekly accumulator. I’ll be previewing their match and predicting whether they’ll bag the three point, giving you all the insights and opinions that have formed my decisions. This Sunday Chelsea take on Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, and I’m backing the Blues to claim all three points.
To put it simply, Chelsea need this win. Plus, the Blues have an excellent home record against United, having not lost to them at home since 2012. This one could be a bit cagey, the Blues have enough attacking talent to eventually breakdown the United defence.
For the rest of the accumulator, I’ve hand-picked some games I’m feeling pretty confident about this Sunday.
1. Hearts vs Kilmarnock – DRAWThe Jambos aren’t impressing in their cavernous temporary home of Murrayfield, and Ifancy Kilmarnock to grab a draw after their impressive showing at Celtic last weekend.
2. Lazio to beat UdineseLazio have been the real surprise package in Serie A this season, and I expect them to carrytheir impressive streak over also-rans Udinese.
3. Juventus to beat BeneventoJuventus are flying as usual in Serie A, while Benevento have lost every single on of their opening 11 games. No brainer this one, Juve have got it in the bag.
4. Saint-Étienne to beat Lyon I’m tipping the underdogs Saint-Étienne to win this. There’s nothing like the Rhone-Alpsderby to get the blood pumping. On top of that, they’ve beaten Lyon at home for the last three times in a row.
Download the BetBull app and follow me @richieboon.90min to see how I get on!
I'm teaming up with social betting app BetBull to put money where my mouth is over the next few weeks to compete against fellow 90min contributors to see who can win the most. Manchester United's next four Premier League games will be my starting point for an accumulator each time and I'll be giving my opinions and insight behind each prediction.
The more optimistic United fans might be hoping to see an away win against Chelsea on Sunday after each team's differing fortunes in the Champions League this week, but it wouldn't exactly be a surprise to see Jose Mourinho to set up for a draw away from home against a direct rival.
He's shown he has little time to be concerned over what grumbling fans think about negative tactics if the results are what he wants and I think he'll get the draw he's after.
I'm also backing West Ham to pull one out of the bag and beat an inconsistent Liverpool this weekend after a good record against the Reds in recent seasons. I'm going for a draw in the game between Southampton and Burnley, and Sunday wins for Tottenham and Manchester City over Crystal Palace and Arsenal respectively.
Download the BetBull app and follow me @Jamie.90min to see how I get on!