Chelsea vs Manchester United: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Result

Chelsea vs Manchester United: 3 Key Battles

Chelsea can all but seal the title with a win over Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. But the task will not be as easy as it would have been a few weeks ago. In early March, the Blues were cruising to the title and United were struggling to cement their place in the top four.

Six successive wins for the Red Devils means that they are just a point behind Arsenal in second. Although the title is beyond Louis Van Gaal’s side, they would certainly want to improve their record of one win in their last 10 trips to Stamford Bridge. Despite their impressive form, the visitors will start on the back foot thanks to injuries to key players ahead of the game on Saturday where they will be looking to end the Blues 16-game unbeaten run at home in the Premier League.

Here are the three key battles, which will decide the outcome of this game.

1. How do Chelsea cope with United’s left flank?

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ivanovich

One of the reasons why United have been so dominant in the past month has been their ability to overload the left flank. Ashley Young’s transformation from an outcast to outstanding candidate for best English winger of the season, Daley Blind’s move to left-back and Marouane Fellaini’s imposing presence on the left-side of midfield has simply been too much for teams to handle. Even without the injured Blind, Luke Shaw is an able replacement and the combination is likely to create chaos for Chelsea.

The main reason for that is Branislav Ivanovic. From being one of the best full-backs in the Premier League to a defensive liability, the last few months have highlighted the flaws that made him so successful. His adventurous nature needs to be curbed and if it isn’t it requires someone covering for him. Neither Fabregas, who usually plays on the right side of midfield, nor Ramires, who usually takes part in the big games, has the physique to handle United’s threat on the left flank. Unless Mourinho brings in John Obi Mikel or Kurt Zouma, it is hard to see the Blues coping with the visitors threat on the left flank.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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