Chelsea head back to Stamford Bridge on Sunday as they take on a newly resurgent Manchester United side. After a good FA Cup win was followed by a big win in midweek, the Red Devils will be heading down here with plenty of confidence. The Blues should be feeling pretty good themselves after a fine FA Cup win of their own, but they’d certainly feel a lot better if they could get the three points here and move up the table.
Chelsea travelled to Old Trafford just last month in the league, and they came back with a 0-0 draw after a pretty poor display. Neither side were playing well back then, but United dominated a tame Chelsea side. Now that both sides have a few wins under their belts, will we get a more interesting game this time around?
It will certainly be a busy one, as there are plenty of things to watch out for. While this is another clash between Dutch managers in the Premier League, something the press seem to enjoy, there’s much more going on at the club. This will be the first home game since it was announced that John Terry won’t be having his contract renewed at the end of the season.
That news rocked fans, and there’s surely going to be some show of support for the captain, even more than usual. The majority of the fans seem to want him kept at the club, so this is the time for them to make their voices heard. If they campaign loud enough, it might just extend the defender’s stay, and he could possibly retire at the Bridge.
While Terry is set for the exit, we have two players who came in last month. Both Alexandre Pato and Matt Miazga were brought into the squad, but neither seem to currently have much match fitness. Pato doesn’t seem ready for the demands of the league, while Miazga came across from MLS, and their season has been over for a few months now. While they won’t start, we might see a brief substitute appearance at some stage for the new signings.
They’ll face an uphill task to make it into the team, as right now almost everyone is fit to play. While Radamel Falcao is still struggling, there doesn’t appear to be any other problems ahead of this one. Expect Hiddink to go with the two defensive midfielders once more, giving the team a solid base.
United won 3-0 at home to Stoke on Tuesday night, and it looked like they were playing with some creative freedom. Louis van Gaal had previously tied his men up in shackles defensively, which contributed to their problems. Will he keep up this new more expansive approach, or will he go defensive for this big game? We will see on Sunday, as Chelsea look to put a spanner in United’s top four hopes.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-1