David de Gea – De Gea will be looking replicate his impressive past performances against Chelsea again on Sunday.
Rafael – The last time Rafael faced the Blues he was sent off for an impetuous challenge. Hopefully he will be more measured this weekend.
Nemanja Vidic – United’s captain will need to lead by example if the Reds are going to keep out the multi-dimensional threat at Stamford Bridge.
Jonny Evans – If fit then Evans is sure to start alongside Vidic. However, if his recent minor injury is still a problem then the Northern Irishman will probably be replaced by Chris Smalling.
Michael Carrick – Carrick will probably start the deepest of Manchester United’s midfielders in a position set-up to block the passing lanes towards the likes of Oscar and Eden Hazard.
Darren Fletcher – Fletcher’s mightily impressive form since his return to action, combined with his professional attitude on and off the pitch, might well earn him a start in this tough fixture.
Tom Cleverley – A midfield three is likely to suit Tom Cleverley’s game more than a midfield two and the young Englishman will be looking to be at his best in knitting together passing patterns and being busy in disrupting Chelsea’s rhythm.
Antonio Valencia – Chelsea appear weak in the full-back areas, so the combination of Valencia and Rafael on the right-hand side will be vital for United in a similar way to how it was at Stamford Bridge in the league last season.
Adnan Januzaj – If he were to start then this would be Januzaj’s biggest match so far and it will be a test for the youngster to see how his temperament holds out.
The Manchester United set-up will be most similar to that on display in the fixture away to Shakhtar Donetsk earlier in the season. With one consistent deep midfielder, United’s other central players will have license to be more attack-minded than usual and to press Chelsea high when in possession.
There are rumours that Wayne Rooney might have a late fitness test whilst Phil Jones is also on the way back after injury. It would be expected that neither start this game but David Moyes may look to throw in a surprise. The more likely difference to the line-up above however would be the inclusion of Shinji Kagawa over one of the three central midfielders.