Chelsea versus Manchester United is always one to circle in the diary.
But this particular Premier League meeting between the two historical enemies has an extra plot twist to be excited about.
United will be watched on by their new interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, even if the German won’t physically be in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Michael Carrick is set to take charge of the team until Rangnick’s work permit can be sorted out.
After their 2-0 Champions League win mid-week, there is a sense of optimism surrounding the Red Devils camp right now.
Thomas Tuchel’s men are not the ideal opponents to get your hopes up for, however.
With the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table and get one over a bitter rival on the line, expect a strong line-up from the boys in blue.
Here is our Chelsea predicted XI to take on United:
There should be no surprise selections in this area of the field.
Edouard Mendy is set to be protected by his regular back three, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen.
Christensen sat out the mid-week Champions League win over Juventus, but the 25-year-old will likely replace Trevoh Chalobah for the upcoming encounter.
This is where Tuchel’s tinkering might come into play.
Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante were both injured against Juve, so a pair of sizeable holes will need filling.
Luckily, Chelsea have several decent debutants to choose from.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek gets the nod in place of Kante to partner Jorginho, whilst Cesar Azpilicueta comes in for Chilwell.
Marcos Alonso is the obvious choice to take Chilwell’s seat at the table, yet Tuchel opted to bring on his skipper over the Spaniard at left wing-back on Tuesday.
Admittedly, Azpilicueta is the more defensive option.
Yet, United’s forward firepower might need to be approached with extra caution.
Reece James of course retains the right wing-back slot.
Anticipate further changes to the front line.
Perhaps Tuchel’s biggest call will be on Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku returned to the matchday squad against Juve following his long injury layoff.
We believe the Belgian will reclaim his centre-forward role and face his former employers.
Next to him, another man just back from the treatment table.
Timo Werner came on as a substitute to score Chelsea’s fourth a few days ago, so should be thrown into the spotlight from the first whistle.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is the only player to keep his place in the attacking trio, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech dropping to the bench.
Chelsea predicted XI vs Manchester United: Mendy; Rudiger, Silva, Christensen; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Azpilicueta; Werner, Lukaku, Hudson-Odoi