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Feb 17, 2020 at 8pm UK at Stamford Bridge
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Combined XI: Chelsea vs. Manchester United

Ahead of Monday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads.

One of the standout fixtures on the Premier League calendar will take place at Stamford Bridge on Monday night as Chelsea welcome Manchester United for what should be a fascinating battle.

Chelsea have lost eight of their 25 Premier League matches this season but are still fourth in the table, six points above ninth-placed United.

The Blues entered the winter break off the back of a 2-2 draw against Leicester City, while they have only actually won one of their last five in the Premier League.

United, meanwhile, drew 0-0 with Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last fixture and have also only been victorious in one of their last five in the league, losing to Arsenal, Liverpool and Burnley in 2020.

Both teams will be missing some key players on Monday night, but it would still be fair to say that there will be a lot of quality on display at Stamford Bridge. With that in mind, Sports Mole picks a combined XI from both squads, using only players available for the contest.

Combined XI: CHE vs. MNU

The fact that David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga are battling to be Spain's number one for Euro 2020 makes the goalkeeping spot in this particular side an even more interesting debate. It would be fair to say that De Gea's form has not always been terrific this season, but the 29-year-old has only conceded 29 times in his 25 league appearances, while Kepa, who could allegedly be leaving Stamford Bridge this summer due to his troubles, has really struggled for form.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the obvious choice at right-back with the Englishman again impressing defensively this season for his new club, while Harry Maguire deserves a spot in central defence despite not always showing his best form. Indeed, for all of the criticism aimed at United, they have the joint-fourth best defensive record in the league this season. It is difficult to make a case for any other Red Devils players at the back, though, meaning that Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta earn spots in the side.

Rudiger scored twice against Leicester last time out and is arguably the best centre-back in both squads when everyone is fit and available, while Azpilicueta gets the nod over the likes of Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams and Marcos Alonso at left-back due to his quality and experience.

Paul Pogba would have been selected in the middle of the park had he been fit, but the Frenchman is still recovering from an ankle operation. Fred has benefited from Pogba's absence when it comes to the United midfield, and the Brazil international has certainly stepped up his game this term.

As a result, the South American earns the first spot in midfield due to his energy and work-rate, while it is simply impossible to leave out N'Golo Kante. Like a number of players in this XI, Kante has struggled for consistency this season, but it is difficult to argue that there is a better holding midfielder in Europe.

Anthony Martial has largely operated through the middle for United this season, but the Frenchman lines up on the right for the purposes of this team. The 24-year-old has managed 12 goals in 28 appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side this term and is worthy of a spot in the side.

Bruno Fernandes is the final United player in the selection, with the Portugal international showing his quality at Sporting Lisbon, scoring 15 times and registered 14 assists this season before arriving at Old Trafford. Fernandes could not inspire his new team to a win on his debut against Wolves but showed enough to suggest that he will be an important player for the rest of the season.

Callum Hudson-Odoi also makes it having contributed four goals and six assists for the Blues this season. The Englishman would have been absent from this XI had Marcus Rashford been fit, but the United attacker is out with a back problem. As a result, Hudson-Odoi makes it, and the 19-year-old is joined by Tammy Abraham, who should shake off an ankle complaint to feature on Monday night.

Abraham has managed 15 goals in 32 appearances for Frank Lampard's side this season, including 13 in the Premier League. The goals have dried up since the start of December, but he is the obvious choice to lead the line in this XI despite Odion Ighalo arriving at Old Trafford before the end of the January window.


Who will win Monday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Manchester United?

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