Chelsea returns to club football tomorrow lunchtime, with the test of Manchester United awaiting them at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues went into the international break on an 11-match unbeaten run, having not lost in the Premier League, Carabao Cup or Europa League this season, and are currently level on points with league leaders Manchester City.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils currently sit in eighth in the league standings, have been dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Sky Bet Championship side Derby County and have won just once in their last five matches in all competitions.
Based on WhoScored.com’s average match ratings in the Premier League from this season, we have compiled our very own Chelsea and Manchester United combined team, which certainly has room for debate.
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) 6.67
Immediately, a lot of football fans may be shocked than Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga gets the nod over David de Gea in goal, but the 24-year-old has proved to be more reliable in the top-flight this season.
Across their eight league appearances, Kepa has conceded just five goals, whilst De Gea has let in 14.
Kepa has also managed to keep five clean sheets in his past seven matches in all competitions for Chelsea.
During the international break, Kepa earned his second senior cap for his country, coming on as a substitute for De Gea during a 4-1 friendly victory over Wales, and after De Gea conceded three times during their shock 3-2 defeat to England in the Nations League, Kepa may be rewarded with the number one shirt in Luis Enrique’s Spain side sooner than expected.
Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) 7.01
On the topic of Spanish internationals, Cesar Azpilicueta makes the team at right-back.
The 29-year-old, who is better known to Chelsea fans as ‘Dave’, Azpilicueta has captained the Blues in all eight of their league matches this season.
Azpilicueta has completed 18 tackles in the top-flight this term, two more than any other Chelsea or United player.
He has also made five blocks, an amount that has not been matched by any other player from either of these Jose Mourinho-managed teams from past and present.
Centre-back: David Luiz (Chelsea) 7.18
Last season saw David Luiz play a limited amount of football, with injuries and Andreas Christensen being the Brazilian’s two main reasons for struggling to get regular minutes.
But under Maurizio Sarri, Luiz has not missed a minute of Premier League action and is currently the Blues’ highest-rated centre-back.
Luiz has completed 543 of his attempted 614 passes in the top-flight this season, only three players have made more, two of which are Luiz’s teammates.
He has also made 43 long passes, 17 more than any other of the Blues’ outfield players.
Centre-back: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea) 7.02
Luiz’s partner in the heart of Sarri’s back line is Germany’s, Antonio Rudiger.
The 25-year-old has averaged 3.3 clearances per match, the second best ratio of Chelsea’s side.
Rudiger has won an average of 2.9 aerial duels per match this season, the most of any of Sarri’s players.
He has also completed 577 of his attempted 629 passes (91.7%) this season, only teammate Jorginho and Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte have made more.
Left-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) 7.33
The fifth Blues player and third Spanish international included in the team is left-back, Marcos Alonso.
By his own high standards for Chelsea, Alonso has had a fairly quite league campaign, with just the one goal and two direct assists to his name.
But the 27-year-old has also won two penalties for his side and is one of only three Chelsea players to have attempted 15 or more shots in the top-flight this season.
His role in Chelsea’s side under Sarri may see him play more defensively, but his quick adaptation has earned him a place in the Spanish national squad for their last two campaigns, including a 90-minute run-out during their defeat to England on Monday.
Centre-midfield: Paul Pogba (Manchester United) 7.07
Whether it’s a spat with Mourinho, a poor performance or a sensational one, World Cup winner Paul Pogba appears to be in the headlines on a very regular basis.
However, his performances have warranted the highest average match-rating out of any United player in the top-flight (to have played in at least five games) this term.
The French midfielder has scored two goals and created two more during his eight league appearances this season and no United player has had a direct hand in more top-flight goals.
He has also been named as WhoScored’s star man twice, during home wins over Leicester City and Newcastle United, getting a goal against the Foxes and an assist against the Magpies.
Attacking-midfield: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 8.15
With seven goals and three assists in just 577 minutes of Premier League football this season, it is easy to see why many believe that Eden Hazard is in the best form of his career.
The Belgian netted a hat-trick during the Blues’ 4-1 battering of Cardiff City last month.
He is also the league’s current top goalscorer and with five star-man awards in just six league starts, the 2018 World Cup’s Silver Ball winner is proving to be a nightmare for anyone he comes up against.
Last Friday, he was named as the Premier League’s Player of the Month for September and also won the Carabao Cup’s Goal of the Round award, after his scintillating solo effort during a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in the third round.
Attacking-midfield: Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United) 7.05
One of many United players that appears to have had disagreements with Mourinho in recent weeks is Chilean winger, Alexis Sanchez.
However, Sanchez has been United’s second-highest rated player this season and has a league goal and an assist to his name.
Sanchez has completed 12 key passes, the joint most in the United squad alongside Pogba.
He has also been fouled on seven occasions, working out at once every 50.9 minutes.
Right-wing: Pedro (Chelsea) 7.28
The fourth and final Chelsea-Spaniard in the side is Pedro, who has not featured for his country since last October during a 1-0 win over Israel.
Pedro has scored three goals so far in his six league appearances and is the Blues’ second-top goalscorer in the league.
He has netted during wins over Huddersfield Town, Arsenal and Bournemouth, but missed the two draws against Liverpool and West Ham United through injury.
After being able to improve his fitness during the international break, Pedro will be hoping to add to his tally for the season in the coming weeks.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) 6.98
One ex-Blues striker who will be returning to his former stomping ground is Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian spent three years with the Blues, but loan spells with West Bromwich Albion and Everton limited him to just 15 senior appearances without scoring a goal.
This term, he has scored four league goals in eight appearances and is United’s joint-top goalscorer in all competitions.
However, Lukaku is without a goal in his last six club matches and will be hoping to build on his impressive performances for Belgium last week at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.
Left-wing: Willian (Chelsea) 7.18
Completing the side is winger Willian, who has played in every league match for the Blues this season.
The 30-year-old has scored one league goal and created two more for Chelsea this term.
He has also been imperative to their 100% to this season’s Europa League, with the winning goal away at PAOK Salonika and creating the winner at home to MOL Vidi.
Willian was left out of Tite’s latest national squad for their wins over Saudi Arabia and Argentina, his first omission from the national side since January 2017.