Manchester United v Chelsea : Chelsea to expose defensive frailties and win by THREE!
Jose Mourinho takes his unbeaten Chelsea side to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Louis Van Gaal...
Jose Mourinho takes his unbeaten Chelsea side to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United and everyone will see the difference in class between the two sides.
Many ex-pro's, pundits and reporters alike would have you believe that this game is a pivotal moment in the season, a chance for both managers to test themselves and their teams against each other to see exactly how far they have come. I believe (as I am sure plenty of the neutrals will agree) that it's not even close at this stage.
I look at United and my initial reaction is that they are lop-sided. Don't get me wrong, they have fantastic attacking flair and players that can really hurt you but you DO NOT win anything without solid foundations. United are lacking by a country mile.
How anyone feels that they can allow Evra, Ferdinand and Vidic to leave, who have been the cornerstone of United's defensive line for years and to not replace them with World Class or players close to that calibre is ridiculous.
We have seen the problems Luke Shaw has faced in Manchester since he arrived, we have seen LVG move Rojo from his natural position as a left back into the middle of the defence to "make do" and Daley Blind (the only defensive minded player in their midfield) asked to play the holding role, in front of their defence to cover on his own!
The biggest problem for United and their Supporters has to be that the manager doesn't seem to know what his best eleven his three months into the season. Do they play Van Persie and Falcao with Rooney behind? Van Persie and Rooney with Mata in behind, Di Maria...?
United are frail without the ball and apart from Di Maria who works his socks off, I cannot and do not see any of their attacking flair players track back and work hard without the ball compared to Mourinho's Chelsea team.
For all United's good work moving forward, Jose Mourinho will have his team primed perfectly to expose their weakness time and time again and I honestly believe Chelsea will win this one with ease.
Chelsea are solid, have better balance, have attacking flair and most importantly of all, we know how to win football matches. Last season, we often heard the likes of Gary Neville talk of Jose Mourinho's big game management and it will come for fore once again in this one.
Some people have talked of Van Gaal changing his tactics and parking the bus, some people may think that Mourinho will do the same but I cannot see either adopting that approach. Chelsea can make a real statement at Old Trafford on Sunday and I expect them to do exactly that.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I for one am not interested in talk of being invincible or talk of an unbeaten season. It's all about taking each and every single game at a time, giving the opponent the respect they deserve and to treat each game the same way. You can be sure that by the time we reach kick off, Chelsea will be right up for this.
I am as confident as I am because of the threat we pose from all areas of the pitch. Chelsea are a tall, physical side and United have to deal with that, especially from set pieces. In addition, Chelsea can pass the ball to death with the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Matic in the middle.
Our attacking three which is more than likely to be Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian will work hard and look to attack United's back line as many times as possible, forcing their opponents backwards and it's how United decide to deal with the threat each of them pose that could determine the outcome of the game.
Eden Hazard in particular is on fire and well on the way to becoming (in the future) considered in the same class as Messi and Ronaldo. All he lacks at the moment is goals on a consistent basis because he has everything else in his game. He will be Chelsea's biggest threat to United and we need to give him the ball as often as possible to hurt United over and over again.
As for Chelsea's "problems" up front? I don't see it. Drogba will start and will do what he does best with the three attacking midfielders playing off of him. The big man up top against Jones and Rojo? I am looking forward to it.
I cannot underestimate just how confident I am of this game and the gulf in class between the two sides. A well oiled machine, perfectly balanced that work hard for each other up against a team that is lop-sided, uneven and defensively weak. Surely everyone can see there will only be one winner on Sunday and by a distance!
Chelsea to win by three or more goals! What do you think?