Since Tuchel’s arrival in London at the end of last month, Chelsea have been thriving off the new manager bounce – but can Manchester United do enough to bring them back to reality?
Coming off the back of success in the Europa League on Thursday as we progress to the ‘Round of 16’, Manchester United will be re-framing their focus back towards the Premier League in what is set to be a crucial set of games in their bid for Champions League football next season. Chelsea have been in good form since the sacking of ex-manager Frank Lampard and will be looking to order another round of the ‘Tuchel Time special’ against United on Sunday – and he’ll certainly be wanting to get his revenge on Solskjaer after the defeat against his former team, PSG, in the Champions League knock out stages.
But why is this match in particular so important for Manchester United? With Manchester City perched high and mighty at the top of the table and a Manchester derby looming, the next couple of weeks could be some of the most challenging yet for Solskjaer and his Reds. United are now level on points with 3rd place Leicester City – a 4 point goal difference being the only thing separating them. But David Moyes’ West Ham side are only a mere 4 points behind and on an extremely impressive run this season. If we’re serious about finishing the season in 2nd position, there is no room for error, mistakes or settling for a draw in a game that we’re more than capable of winning – all of which we’ve done plenty of in the last few weeks and were ultimately the reason for the hopes of our 21st Premier League trophy being thrown down the drain.
Will our game against Chelsea be our most testing one yet? Definitely. Do I think we can win the game? Absolutely.
In comparison to the teams we have previously faced in the last few weeks of the league, Chelsea have an abundance of talents in the form of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Jorginho, all oh who have contributed to and scored many of Chelsea’s goals this season – so there’s no doubt they can be a threat.
By now, I think Ole’s preferred starting XI is pretty set in stone and predictable. However, with Pogba, McTominay, Cavani and Van de Beek having been out for a couple of weeks with injuries, I’d be surprised if we saw any changes made to the starting line-up we saw against Newcastle last Sunday.
Here’s how I think Ole will line-up (partly because we have limited options and partly due to how predictable the formation is these days):
Tuchel is well-known as a tactical genius, so its no surprise that Chelsea are the bookies favourite to win the game. In terms of Manchester United’s chances of grabbing the 3 points, it relies heavily on a) the selected line-up and b) whether or not they ‘turn up’. In a game like this, with some high quality players in the opposition, there’s no time for slow starts and delayed reactions.
Despite this, I can see the game resulting in a draw with the full time result being 1-1 – though I’m highly anticipating a win to help boost morale within the team.
How are you feeling going into this game? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.