BBC Sport’s Mark Lawrenson gives his prediction for Manchester United vs Chelsea

BBC Sport’s Mark Lawrenson has given his prediction for the crunch Premier League clash between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford this weekend.

The Red Devils had a relatively good transfer window where they strengthened their backline, but they could not reinforce the opposite end of the field where Daniel James was their only purchase.

Moreover, they made the choice to part ways with striker Romelu Lukaku just before the transfer deadline and this has left them without a physical presence upfront leading to the new season.

Elsewhere, the Blues had a quiet summer as expected, given they were unable to make signings due to the transfer ban placed on them by FIFA.

Nonetheless, there were positives with the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham impressing in pre-season while winter signing Christian Pulisic will seem a new arrival after staying at Borussia Dortmund on loan during the second half of last season.

Despite this, there are concerns whether they can take their pre-season scoring form into the new campaign while the defence remains far from secured with just one clean sheet during the recent run of friendlies.

As such, both teams seem to hold different concerns ahead of the curtain-raiser and Lawrenson has predicted that the teams could share the spoils with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

With the home advantage, United should hold the advantage in the lead-up to the game and they have strengthened the backline with Maguire and Wan-Bissaka likely to add more steel to a fragile-looking defence last term.

Still, the encounter could be closely fought with new Blues’ boss Frank Lampard unlikely to invite an open encounter, particularly with a new look defensive combination of Zouma and Christensen.

Four of the previous six league encounters between the sides at Old Trafford have ended in stalemates. United have won the other two meetings – most recently during the 2017/18 season.

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