Chelsea return from the international break with a Premier League fixture against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are currently one of three teams including Liverpool and Manchester City, who are unbeaten in the top-flight and they have the opportunity to preserve this record over the weekend while putting pressure at the top of the table. The west London giants are presently equal on points with table-toppers Manchester City and they are only trailing them in terms of goal difference.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has been the undisputed first-choice between the sticks since the season started and no change should be expected barring an injury of some sort before the lunchtime showdown on Saturday.
In the backline, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso have been constants since the season opener and they should once more slot into the right and left side of the Blues defence respectively.
However, Maurizio Sarri could be forced to make a change at the heart of the defence where Antonio Rudiger remains a doubt with a groin problem sustained against Southampton this month. In his absence, skipper Gary Cahill could make his maiden league start under Sarri to partner David Luiz.
Onto the midfield, Jorginho and N’Golo Kante should once more take up their regular positions and they should most likely be accompanied by Ross Barkley, who has managed to get over his injury concerns.
The Englishman started the season in a straight fight with Mateo Kovacic for the third midfield slot but he has managed to bag the position in recent weeks and should maintain the same after starring with a goal and an assist versus Southampton last time around.
Further forward, Eden Hazard is an undoubted choice on the left side of the attack and he could be partnered by Pedro on the other flank, considering Willian has looked short of his best form of late.
Olivier Giroud has been recently leading the line ahead of Alvaro Morata despite his goal drought. Nonetheless, he should keep his position due to his strong hold-up play which has brought Hazard more into the game. He has already bagged four assists this term.
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