Chelsea boss Frank Lampard handed major boost by Man Utd ahead of Premier League clash
Chelsea have been handed a boost by Manchester United ahead of their Premier League clash on Saturday. United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Eric Bailly will miss the game against Frank Lampard’s side after being ruled out for up to a month.
The Red Devils have struggled defensively in the early games of this season – although they host Chelsea off the back of two good results having beaten Paris-Saint Germain and Newcastle in their most recent games.
And Lampard’s side will look to exploit that weakness with their star-studded attack as they look to kick-start their own season following draws against Sevilla and Southampton.
Bailly will definitely be absent from United’s defence on Saturday as Solskjaer’s side plot how to cope with the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic.
The 26-year-old centre-back has a muscle injury which his manager confirmed is also likely to keep him out of big games against RB Leipzig, Arsenal, Istanbul Basaksehir and Everton.
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“Eric has a muscle injury – we think maybe three or four weeks, maybe after the international break he’ll be back,” said Solskjaer in quotes reported by Metro.
And while Chelsea boss Lampard has a near fully-fit squad to choose from, his United counterpart could be without several key players.
Skipper Harry Maguire will be assessed over a buttock injury which kept him out of Tuesday’s Champions League win over PSG, while forwards Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani also face a race to be fit.
Anthony Martial is definitely out as the striker continues to serve his suspension for a red card against Tottenham at the beginning of the month.
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Lampard, by contrast, only has Billy Gilmour on the treatment table with a knee injury which is expected to keep the young midfielder out until after next month’s international break.
United’s defensive injuries mean Chelsea are likely to come up against Axel Tuanzebe, who was hugely impressive in his side’s 2-1 win over PSG on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old defender played in a back three alongside Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw and showcased his pace and athleticism in a superb showing against Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
And United legend Rio Ferdinand called for Solskjaer to put his faith in Tuanzebe for the visit of Chelsea.]
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Asked if Tuanzebe had made himself undroppable with his performance against PSG, Ferdinand told BT Sport: ‘Yes. Ole has just said it’s two of the best two strikers in the world, he snuffed out danger many a time today.
“You have to reward performances like that. He’s had a hard time with injuries – first game in 10 months – to come in and play like that, from in out of the cold, you deserve to be rewarded.
“This is where Man United have struggled in the last six to 12 months, in them areas chasing players down the channels – they can’t stay with them and then obviously that opens up the back four or back three.
“But he was smelling danger.”
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