Chelsea v Manchester United – An early look at an intriguing tactical battle.

Jose Mourinho makes an emotional return to Stamford Bridge as Manchester United Manager this Sund...

Jose Mourinho makes an emotional return to Stamford Bridge as Manchester United Manager this Sunday as Chelsea under Antonio Conte look to build on their recent improvements. How do you think that Chelsea should approach the game?

After watching last night’s disappointing game and Mourinho’s intention to “park the bus” so as not to drop points, we can expect the same this weekend. Plenty will be written and discussed as to how he will set his team up, what formation and who starts, but he will come here to make life extremely difficult for us and it will be another major test for Antonio Conte.

Will Jose Mourinho look to counter our new 3-4-3 formation by adopting a 4-3-3 tactical approach? Will he look to match our formation? These are the questions to consider but I really fancy Antonio Conte to come out on top in this one.

It’s clear that Manchester United lack a natural defensive midfielder in their holding positions. Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba are not tacklers, not defensive minded like N’Golo Kante for example and that will eventually be their downfall in their title bid this season. Without question they have absolute quality in other areas, which will pose a threat to anyone, but it’s in that area that Mourinho has a real problem.

Zlatan will start up top unless he suffers injury against Fenerbache this Thursday and it looks as though Juan Mata could face his former side playing as the number ten with Pogba dropping into a deeper position next to either Fellaini or Herrera, this could play into Chelsea hands.

I for one believe that Antonio Conte will continue with his 3-4-3 formation but John Terry could receive a recall into the side to deal with the threat of Ibrahimovic. David Luiz plus either Gary Cahill or the impressive Cesar Azpilicueta will play either side of our Captain.

Alonso and Moses will continue as wing-backs after both impressing against Leicester with Kante and Matic playing in front of the back four.

It’s the attacking three that intrigues me ahead of United because we know that Mourinho will look to deny Chelsea any space in behind their midfield and in front of their back four.

Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are both in the side without question after making good starts to the season but depending on availability, could we see Cesc Fabrgeas get the nod to start in place of Pedro and ahead of Willian?

I would fancy the combination of Fabregas and Hazard with freedom to play their football in behind Cost, both with licence to roam and to try and create for us. We have seen how good the Costa/Hazard combination has been of late and add Fabregas with his assists record, we could cause United all sorts of problems.

Another point to note here. Eric Bailly has done well for United so far this season and has looked calm and composed as he dominates strikers. I wonder how he will react to facing Diego Costa?

It’s early days I know with United playing twice this week before Chelsea play again (you can almost hear the Mourinho excuses already) but no matter how much you think about it, this is game we have all looked forward to since the fixtures came out.

What do you think of the tactical approach of both sides ahead of this one? Any changes to be made or key players being brought in/left out?


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Diego Costa - Should he stay or should he go?

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