A lot has happened since Manchester United thrashed Chelsea 4-0 on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
For both clubs we’ve seen plenty of highs and lows and on Monday night he Red Devils will be looking to halve the gap on fourth place, with Chelsea currently boasting a six-point lead over their visitors.
Solskjaer has already got the better of Lampard twice this season
Neither side carried great form into the winter break. In fact, both clubs are searching for their first win in three games.
It’s been a top four race which Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea and United are all doing their best to lose – and the likes of Sheffield United and Wolves will be watching with keen eyes on Monday night.
If Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer don’t get it right there could be huge ramifications across the rest of the season.
Here’s how we reckon Chelsea and United should line-up to inject fresh life into their top-four bid…
You can tell Lampard played under Claudio Ranieri, as he’s done his fair share of tinkering this season.
Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho have both been given the cold shoulder in recent months, despite being the club’s two standout performers at the beginning of the campaign.
The latest victims were Willian and Kepa Arrizabalaga, who were dropped at Leicester after a run of underwhelming performances.
And it appears as though Lampard still doesn’t know his best central defensive partnership.
Kepa should regain his place
This is our suggestion… stop the tinkering.
Kovacic, Jorginho, Willian and Kepa all feature in Chelsea’s strongest XI. Pick them.
Tammy Abraham is still feeling the effects of a knock he picked up against Arsenal, but trained on Friday and will be assessed on the weekend.
While competition for places is important and no-one should feel safe at a club like Chelsea, Lampard is beginning to come across as too ruthless and it could be disrupting his team.
Successful runs are built on team chemistry and confidence, which comes from playing regularly and overcoming bad spells.
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For Manchester United, things aren’t as complicated.
Injuries dictate that Solskjaer’s team selection is rather more simple, but he does have one big decision to make: does Odion Ighalo start?
Probably, yes. The former Watford striker was brought in to have an immediate impact and he’s had two weeks to get up to speed.
Ighalo wasn’t able to join up with his teammates in Dubai due to fears border controls might change for people who have recently been in China amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Odion Ighalo spent three seasons in China and is likely to be involved against Chelsea
Instead, he has spent his undergoing double training sessions with Great Britains Olympic Taekwondo team since his arrival in England to work on his fitness.
He’ll be involved with us and he’ll travel down with us and, obviously, now he’s out of that two-week period of precaution and it’s a precaution we’ve made,” Solskjaer said.He’ll travel with us and let’s see if he’s involved or not.”
United lack goals due to the absence of Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial is much more effective off the left.
The Red Devils have nothing to lose by sticking their new signing up front.