Manchester United v Chelsea - This is more than winnable for Chelsea!
Tonight the eyes of the world will be watching what has become one of the biggest games in the Premier League - Manchester United vs Chel...
Tonight the eyes of the world will be watching what has become one of the biggest games in the Premier League - Manchester United vs Chelsea. It's Moyes vs Mourinho round one as both managers will be looking to take three points and a strike psychological blow at this early stage of the season.
Both new in their roles will not want to be defeated and will send their sides out to take the game to the other but to not concede and it's set up for another enthralling encounter!
United will be fresh as having only played one game last weekend at Swansea, Chelsea four days ago against Aston Villa and that could become a key factor in Jose Mourinho's team selection.
We all know about United and the threat Robin Van Persie poses us so as this is a Chelsea blog I want to concentrate on us tonight and what we can do to beat them. We have to deal with everything they have to throw at us and cause them plenty of problems when it's our possession of the ball!
Questions are being asked by Chelsea fans all over the world right now as to who should start the game for Mourinho? I have to wonder that although it's early doors, whether or not Jose will send a side out tonight to ensure they are not beaten first and foremost.
Looking at our back four we need to be strong. United do not hold much of a threat in the air but we still need to be able to deal with anything above the ground. You would imagine JT will start as he is our captain and Gary Cahill next to him once again.
We are awaiting news on David Luiz and whether he is fit enough to start. If he is, tonight is too early for me to give him the nod and I personally would put him on the bench to give us an option from there.
Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic are all set to continue out wide with Cole's pace and Ivanovic's strength being a factor. There is the temptation to put Cesar Azpilicueta at right back but I would stick with Branna there.
The midfield battle is more important than ever tonight we we have to make sure we pick the best two in the holding positions.
With Michael Essien and Marko Van Ginkel pushing for a start after impressing in pre season and Mikel waiting in the wings, it will be interesting to see if Frank Lampard retains his place in the side. I personally can see Jose starting this one with Mikel in the place of Frank. Ramires' energy to get around the pitch will be vital if Chelsea are to get in and around United with the ball.
I would love to see Michael Essien start alongside Ramires but purely for the defensive side of the game, Mikel looks like starting. I could be wrong of course but the fact that Mourinho will set us up to be as compact and organised without the ball, I believe Mikel will come in.
Now, If Chelsea are to have success against United then we have all witnessed the problems we caused them last season in the second half of the FA Cup game at Old Trafford. How many times did we manage to get in between the lines of their back four and midfield with the likes of Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard on the ball. We forced them backwards time and time again and they couldn't cope with our movement.
If Chelsea can start the game as we did against Hull, dominating possession and pressing United high up the pitch to try and win back possession in their half, we have the potential to score goals.
It's important we pass and move with a high tempo. It doesn't matter who you are, if someone plays that way against you, there will be moments that you find it difficult to live with.
I fully expect Jose to start with an attacking three of Hazard, Mata and De Bruyne which is hard on Oscar really but with KDB being rested for Villa, it makes sense. We need to get all three of them on the ball as often and as quickly as possible to create and craft.
As for the striker, there is one option and that is Romelu Lukaku. At times we may need his power and strength to hold the ball up and bring others into the game. If we can open the door and get him playing off the shoulder of the last defender, we can use his pace with balls down the channels or in between defenders.
This game is more than winnable for Chelsea. We proved last season we can defend, sit tight and hit United where it hurts and if anything, we have even more ability in the side to go one better and to really take the game to them.
It's all set up to be another classic and although it is early in the season, Chelsea could pull a six point lead on United with a win and three points.
We just need to get out there and do it! Come on Chelsea!
(Make sure you follow me on Twitter for team news as it breaks around 1900 UK time tonight)
Carefree & KTBFFH!