One of the most anticipated games of the season, the rivalry over the past one decade has been fierce as both teams have been challenging for the league title. Things have changed a bit now, Sir Alex is no longer their manager and United are not even in the top 4. Chelsea however are looking on the up once again with Jose Mourinho slowly but surely making this young Chelsea side his own.
Chelsea are on a high going into this game, at home with just 2 points behind Arsenal while United are in all sorts of trouble languishing at the 7th Spot facing a daunting battle for the fourth spot with Liverpool, Spurs and Everton.
The last time these two teams met was in August which resulted in a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford. This time though, the stakes are high and both teams have got very different targets to follow and both Moyes and Jose know that each point is vital now, therefore expecting an entertaining game at the Bridge.
The news coming out of the United camp prior to the visit to London isn’t any good either. If reports are to be believed Wayne Rooney is out for three weeks and Robin Van Persie is not available either meaning United will be toothless in attack.
Nemanja Matic who signed for Chelsea a day back trained with the team today and there are chances that he will be making his debut vs United. Chelsea were in hunt for a midfielder to play in the pivot and in Matic Chelsea now have an ideal player, excellent passer of the ball and a great tackler.
United’s midfield has got its work cut out against Chelsea’s trio of Hazard – Oscar – Willian who will most likely start for Chelsea.
Chelsea’s defense is Rock Solid:
After leaking a few goals against Stoke Chelsea have really sorted things at the back and now look very solid. Chelsea has conceded just three goals in nine matches in all competitions, that run has also included six clean sheets. The solidity is down to a strong partnership forged by Gary Cahill and Captain John Terry. Terry is in the form of his life and looks like a defender he was 3-4 years ago. Fair to say, Jose has really rejuvenated his career.
Terry’s Partnership with Cahill in 17 matches in all competitions has resulted in 13 wins for Chelsea having conceded just 12 goals in the process. In the 17 games in which Terry and Cahill were CBs, Chelsea has managed to get 10 clean sheets.
Jose always has his teams build on a strong backline and i think he has just about found the right formula for Chelsea’s backline for this season.
United’s defensive worry:
On the contrary, United have got a lot of defensive worry this season as Moyes has failed to find the ideal Centreback pairing for his side.
So much of chopping and changing hasn’t reaped any reward for Moyes as he has looked to almost every option available to him.
But United’s worry doesn’t end there. The midfield is a big issue that Moyes is trying to solve but hasn’t made any signings yet in the January transfer window. Fellaini’s move from Everton has so far been a disaster to say the least. United has failed to dominate midfield and is too ‘lightweight’ which has eventually put a lot of pressure on the back 4.
Moyes is asked to do something not even Sir Alex was able to achieve i.e. Beat Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and on Sunday the run looks likely to continue.
Hazard’s red hot form might eventually be the difference between the two sides and if Rooney does miss this match and with RVP already ruled out might just be a one sided affair. Going for a 2-0 win for Chelsea.