Chelsea will host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, and this game has always been an interesting fixture to look out for.
This game will be Chelsea’s third clash against the Big Six, with the Blues having already defeated Arsenal and played a 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Chelsea and Manchester United have different styles of play, and it’ll be interesting to see which style will carry the day in the lunch-time kick-off on Saturday.
Former Blue Pat Nevin believes Jose Mourinho will set his side to play physical football against Chelsea, and he has also warned Chelsea to watch out for dangerous crosses from the wing.
He wrote in his column for the official Chelsea website: “Now there is something even more appetising to look forward to, football that is almost certainly going to be entertaining, emotional and thick with layers of storylines. There is understandable excitement about the visit of Manchester United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday and it’s not just from Chelsea and United fans, it is the football world in general that is engrossed. It will also be a media circus all week and for once it will be thoroughly deserved.
“Much of the focus will of course be on Jose Mourinho after his tough start to this campaign and the various stories about his alleged strained relationships with some of his star players. That narrative will take up plenty of media space, social and mainstream, and there is even a part of me that unusually is looking forward to seeing how Jose plays it with the press boys. In all truth however that still remains secondary at best for me. This is about a game of football between two sides that are so different in style it can hardly fail to deliver an interesting and informative 90 minutes.
“I think United will almost certainly use their power and physique, possibly more than any other time under the leadership of the current manager. That is not to deride this tactic, in their position I would be sorely tempted to do exactly the same thing. Looking at Chelsea so far this season and the style imposed by Maurizio Sarri, does it really seem like a sensible plan to try to out-pass the Blues? Obviously not, so expect the big physical guns to be deployed against us, especially from set-pieces.
“There are many other dangers in that United side but I think this is the obvious area to attack us and something we will have to find an answer to. That used to mean asking our goalkeeper to come out and dominate the 18-yard area for all crosses but this isn’t always possible if the quality is good enough with the delivery.
“What Chelsea have tried to do this season is to give as few opportunities away as a possible in terms of corners and free-kicks in wide areas. That sounds like a tall order but if we manage to dominate 60 per cent or even 70 per cent of possession as we have done for most of this season so far then yes, that should severely limit the number of dangerous situations United can develop. It could be argued that our possession stats are more important in this game than they have been in any other up until now.”