Prediction- who can be the first team to grab all three points against Chelsea?
Chelsea have been in rampant form this season in all competitions. They have shown balance ane adaptability of the highest order, and have a spine of resilience in the team that makes them one of the most feared teams in Europe, especially this season. Last season, Chelsea struggled with their offensive duties and often ended up playing one dimensional football, that is defensive, especially in the business end of the tournaments. This season, the will to defend is still there, but there is also, the ability to score at will and the techniques to dominate the opponents.
It all started from the transfer window with Chelsea being extremely fast and clinical. There three main transfers were done in quick time as Costa, Fabregas and Filipe Luis arrived this summer and had a full preseason with the Blues. Ever since the early advantage in the transfer window, Chelsea have had a clear agenda and method to nthei proceedings and are working flawlessly towards their lofty objectives.
Manchester United- The Dark Horse
Only one team in the league has the manager whom Mourinho genuinely admires and appreciates. The feeling is reciprocal as both managers, van Gaal and Mourinho have high regards for each others. Van Gaal has a team that is super strong in offense but rather average and thin at the back. Chelsea would be LVG’s first big match of the season and we know that he is quite well versed with his tactics.
Angel Di Maria has taken the league by storm and is driving the team forward. Wayne Rooney has been the vocal leader but would be suspended against Chelsea. An attack consisting of Di Maria, Falcao, van Persie and Mata is a very scary one and can beat the best of defences if they don’t step up.
Van Gaal took The Netherlands to the semi finals with a team that had a great offense but an average defence. He knows how to play against the big fish in the big games and we can be sure José Mourinho won’t be taking the upcoming fixture lightly.
Chelsea are still the favourites. Mind you, Manchester United are the dark horses and the club that are most likely to be the first to really challenge the Blues for the three points, but Chelsea still go into this game as the favourites as they are the team with skill, experience and resilience.
Key players for Manchester United.
In an unbalanced squad like United, there would be a handful of players who’d be required to step it up when their strongest opponents face them. Old Trafford hasn’t been the place where they’ve had the best of times recently, yet it remains the best to face a team like Chelsea, who are a different beast at Stamford Bridge. United star and skipper Rooney’s absense would hurt the team but would allow ex-Chelsea superstar Juan Mata a spot in the team. Mata hasn’t been the same ever since being relegated to the bench in Chelsea by Mourinho. He has been dropped out of the Spain squad as well, due to indifferent form at club level. He has been a good goal getter for Man Utd, but as a playmaker, he hasn’t been able to dominate matches the way he used to do during his best days in Chelsea.
He’ll have an opportunity to impress against his former employers and show them his class once again. While Mata is one key player, Radamel Falcao becomes the next. Falcao has great memories against Chelsea as he won the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea by scoring a hattrick. He is definitely the biggest goal threat Man Utd will offer alongside Robin van Persie against Chelsea. Angel Di Maria and van Persie will be the obvious stars but there will be a key midfield duo in Ander Herrera and Daley Blind who’ll have a job on their hands.
Herrera and Blind will have to face up with the talismanic duo of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas who have been unbeatable so far. Containing Diego Costa would have Phil Jones and his partners fully occupied as United will have to put in a very strong defensive performance and attack on the break against a relatively slow Chelsea back four. Chelsea are well known for the nonstop work rate by their midfielders who help in defense, which would mean Man Utd players would have to replicate that diligence in order to give a real fight, which they are well capable of, this time.
Man Utd have the offense that can harm any defence. Louis van Gaal’s tactics can help Man Utd be solid as well. So in the author’s opinion, Manchester United at Old Trafford, have the best chance to grab the first three points against Chelsea, in all competitions this season.