Three Manchester United players who need a big performance vs Chelsea – Alex James

Erik ten Hag&aposs side are on the brink of a Champions League exit and sit seventh in the Premier League ahead of tonight&aposs contest with Chelsea. The Blues are actually below United in the standings but are beginning to find their feet under Mauricio Pochettino..

This is the type of game United need to be winning if they are serious about competing for the top four yet recent experience won&apost build any confidence. The Reds are regularly beaten by the league&aposs leading lights and while Chelsea are in mid-table just now, they have shown this season they can mix it with the best.

United have shown anything but. Beaten by all three of their Champions League opponents as well as all of the current top 10 Premier League opponents they have faced. Ten Hag&aposs side won three on the spin before being outclassed by City and dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Newcastle.

The positive performance against Everton was followed by a chaotic Champions League draw in Turkey and a limp league defeat in the North East. Tonight, United will seek a response with their manager under-fire and many of their players under-performing. Here are three that need a positive showing more than most.

Few could have predicted the struggles the England international is going through given his exploits last season. His goals underpinned United and both he and his manager spoke about how his game was reaching new levels.

But it&aposs not come to pass in 2023-24. Rashford has retained his place in Ten Hag&aposs first choice line up but has netted only twice and his performances have left plenty to be desired.

There&aposs a school of thought that he needs to be dropped and taken out of the firing line but should he start tonight then a performance from the Rashford of old would help turn the tide of opinion. He netted in this fixture last term and would dearly love to do so again.

It hasn&apost really happened for the Brazilian since his arrival in 2022. The winger hasn&apost been able to justify his 80million price-tag but it was somewhat ironic that he was dropped from the team at Newcastle having performed pretty well in the Champions League draw with Galatasaray in Turkey. Whether he returns to the XI or is utilised off the bench remains to be seen, but the United fans need to see a consistent level of performance and attitude from the wideman.