Thomas Tuchel is remaining focused on the task at hand at Chelsea rather than worrying about the issues surrounding next opponents Manchester United.

The Red Devils head into Thursday’s game at Old Trafford aiming to avoid a third successive Premier League loss for the first time since 2015.

United are sixth and six points adrift of the top four, having also played a game more than Arsenal in the final Champions League qualification spot. Amid talk of a crisis at United, however, Tuchel was quick to point out that he has had his fair share of problems to contend with this season around the ownership situation.

“Over the last months there was also a lot of talk about Chelsea, so we were not so heavily involved in the talks about Manchester United,” he said with a smile. “It will always be a big match, for me, no matter the position and what current form they’re in. This is how I see it.

“I’m not concerned about Man United. First of all, it’s not my job; second of all, they will always recover, because the club is a huge club and the squad is full of individual talents.”

Chelsea have alternated between a defeat and victory across their past four league matches but have a five-point lead on Arsenal with this game in hand to play.

While the Blues still have something to play for as they aim to hold onto third place, United are now effectively out of the top-four race with four games remaining. With six first-team players ruled out, including Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho, Ralf Rangnick has indicated he may turn to his younger players against Chelsea.

“It’s possible,” he said. “But we also have to be fair to those players – it has to be the right moment. They should have a chance to play well and perform well – we can’t just push them into a game. We will try to play the best possible team of those players that are available.

“We have four more games to play and we will try to get as many points and win as many games as we possibly can.”


Manchester United – Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portugal international marked his return to United’s starting line-up with a goal in last week’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal, having missed the previous game for personal reasons. Ronaldo has scored a hat-trick in his past two home games, making him the first United player to do so in the Premier League era.

Chelsea – Mason Mount

Mount was kept quiet in the late 1-0 win over West Ham last time out, but he still has four goals and three assists in his previous five outings in all competitions. The 23-year-old has been directly involved in 10 goals in 14 away Premier League games this term, meanwhile, a tally that only three others in the division can better.


– United are unbeaten in their last eight home league games against Chelsea (W3 D5), keeping five clean sheets in that run since a 1-0 loss in May 2013.

– Chelsea are winless in eight Premier League games against United (D5 L3) – only against Arsenal (19 between 1995 and 2005) and Blackburn Rovers (12 between 1992 and 1998) have they had a longer run without a win in the competition.

– The Red Devils have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five Premier League games against Chelsea, having recorded a shutout in just four of their previous 23 against them.

– This is the first time United and Chelsea are meeting on a Thursday in the Premier League, making it the 13th fixture in the competition to have been played on all seven days of the week. United are the first opponent the Blues have faced on all seven days, with United having already faced Aston Villa, Liverpool and Newcastle on Monday-Sunday.

– Following a run of four defeats in eight home league games (W3 D1), United are unbeaten in their last seven at Old Trafford, alternating between victory (4) and a draw (3) each time.