Chelsea Bank on Kante Return as Mourinho’s United Visit Stamford Bridge


Chelsea will give N’Golo Kante every chance to prove his fitness when they host Manchester United in the Premier League sunday. The midfielder has been missing since picking up a hamstring injury last month but could return to action at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from a 3-0 loss at Roma in their midweek Champions League match and they have a good recent record against today’s opponents – losing just one of their last 15 home Premier League games with United (W9 D5), with that defeat

It will also signal a return to Chelsea for Jose Mourinho – who spent five years at the club over two spells as manager – and he has lost three of his last four away games against sides he’s previously managed.

United currently sit second in the Premier League table – five points behind leaders Man City – and have won their last three games in all competitions without conceding, including last weekend’s 1-0 victory against Tottenham in the league.

Alongside Kante, his former Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater could also make his Premier League debut. Right wing-back Victor Moses (hamstring) is the only definite absentee, with captain Gary Cahill poised to start in defence despite his early tactical substitution in the loss at Roma.

Jose Mourinho does not expect to have any of his injured players back for today’s clash. United were without five players for Tuesday’s Champions League win over Benfica while Jesse Lingard picked up a back problem.

Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo have all spent significant time on the sidelines.

Manchester United’s 2-0 victory in their last meeting with Chelsea ended a run of 12 games without a win against them in all competitions. They last won back-to-back meetings with the Blues in September 2011.

United have lost more Premier League games (17) and conceded more Premier League goals (66) against Chelsea than they have against any other side in the competition.

Antonio Conte’s side have already lost as many home Premier League games this season as they did in 2016-17 overall (2).

Antonio Conte has won 112 points as Chelsea manager in his 48 Premier League games in charge, 11 points fewer than Jose Mourinho had at this point of his Chelsea managerial career (123). Mourinho lost just one of his first 48 Premier League games in charge of the club (W38 D9 L1), but Conte has already lost eight times (W36 D4 L8).

Twenty-one per cent of the total Premier League goals scored in the final 10 minutes of games this season (10/47) have been netted by Manchester United.

Manchester United substitutes have scored seven goals and assisted four more (both league-highs) this season so far – Anthony Martial has provided six of these 11 substitute goal involvements (four goals, two assists); more than any other player.