Manchester United and Chelsea will miss key players in their Premier League games at the weekend.
Bruno Fernandes’s presence in the massive Manchester United vs Liverpool match on Sunday is doubtful, while Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner will surely miss at least two Chelsea games. All three star players picked up injuries in the Champions League games their teams were involved in midweek.
The fantastic come-back win over Atalanta took its toll on United. Bruno Fernandes, a key player for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, could be out of the manager’s plans on Sunday, when Liverpool come visiting.
“I think games like this will always bring knocks. There were two or three from that game, we’ll give them time, but I hope I can pick from a fully fit squad,” Solskjaer said in his press conference on Saturday.
“Bruno might be one of those two or three. He might be a doubt, but we’re giving him every chance to be ready,” the Norwegian coach added.
Bruno Fernandes comes from receiving a man of the match award on Wednesday, against Atalanta. He was the engine behind United’s comeback in the second half, which saw the Red Devils overturn a 2-0 Atalanta lead. Man. United finally won the game 3-2, with Fernandes assisting the first goal his team scored and putting up a fantastic individual performance altogether.
"It might be that I'm without two or three players."#MUFC manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed the Bruno Fernandes is a doubt for their game against #LFC on Super Sunday. pic.twitter.com/B6R0iKf96K
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 22, 2021
In the three games United have played in the Champions League this season, Fernandes created 13 chances, the highest of any player involved in the competition. He also tops the assists table in the UCL, with four.
Since his move to England, in January 2020, the Portuguese scored 30 goals and assisted 21 in just 59 games. In his eight Premier League games this season, Bruno scored four goals and assisted another two.
He won player of the month on four occasions in less than two years at Old Trafford.
Liverpool is the bookies’ favorite to win the game, at +120, with a draw at +250 and a Man. United win at +200. Mohamed Salah striking first in the match brings +333 in profits, while Cristiano Ronaldo netting the opener returns +400.
October is over for Lukaku and Werner
Chelsea will open the Saturday Premier League fixture list when they play Norwich at home. They’ll have to make it without star forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Both came out injured against Malmo, in the Champions League, and will be out for at least two games.
“There’s no big news. They will be out for Southampton [next week] too, but from there we will see. They are both having treatment and feeling positive,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said about the pair.
USMNT player Christian Pulisic is also out for Norwich.
Premier League leaders Chelsea are going to need an improvisation number when they go out at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Most probably, attacking midfielder Kai Havertz will be asked to fill the striker’s role instead of Lukaku. At times, Havertz was used there last season too, without adding spectacular numbers to his name, though.
The low number of goals coming from the attacking players was a big problem for Chelsea over the previous campaign. That was the reason behind Tuchel’s wish to sign an established forward. Chelsea broke their transfer record and paid Inter $135 million so they could have Lukaku.
Kai Havertz is the favorite to score at least a goal against Norwich, at +110. The bookies don’t believe Chelsea will be troubled by the newly-promoted side, as a home win is at -625. A bet on Norwich getting a surprise draw at Stamford Bridge is at +600.