This preview and forecast of the Manchester United vs Chelsea match is courtesy of Aayush Dureha.
It’s a new season, with a new manager, but it’s the same old United. That’s the sense most of us got after watching Manchester United play against Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield and against Swansea in last week’s season opener. But the upcoming challenge is different. Let’s keep aside the occasion – David Moyes’s first official home game at Old Trafford, United are about to face a team that could possibly be its fiercest rivals during the David Moyes era. So how does the club go about its business against Chelsea?
Well, for starters, let’s acknowledge that this Chelsea side is one of the best teams in Europe and has been more threatening by the arrival of Jose Mourinho. On paper, it seems to be a very daunting task for United to walk out of the game with 3 points. Not only will United have to curb its attacking instincts, it would need all the help from its forwards to come up with a compact performance on Monday night.
Some of United’s performances during the Asia tour were quite encouraging. After a very long time we saw the players work hard in the opposition half and press the opponents to win the ball back. While it would be the most ideal thing to do, these players cannot be expected to play such a high tempo game for the entire 90 minutes. United may have to ditch its traditional wing play and rely more on counter-attacks to score against Chelsea. Hence, the team has to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Jones – Ferdinand – Vidic – Evra
Carrick – Giggs
Rooney – Kagawa – Welbeck
Chelsea has deployed a similar formation in its previous games with the full backs and central midfielders providing a strong impetus to the attacking quartet. By adopting this formation, United can have a major threat averted by playing three men in the attacking midfield positions and keep the Chelsea back four on their toes for most of the game.
Over the years, Wayne Rooney has worked his socks off against the bigger opponents and will need to do something similar on Monday. Rooney and Welbeck need to ensure that Ashley Cole and Ivanovic, two key sources for supplying balls to Hazard and Mata, are pinned back in their own half. With Kagawa working in tandem with RVP and the other two attackers, we can expect Lampard and Ramires to not push too much forward. It goes without saying that defence will be the key against Chelsea, but the hard work put in by the front four can go a long way in neutralising Chelsea’s attack.
David Moyes may be extremely tempted to unleash his style of play in his first home game, but like Swansea’s, Chelsea’s attacking threat must be respected. United must hit their opponents on the counter and take advantage of open spaces whenever Chelsea’s full backs venture forward. Against a master tactician like Mourinho, United will have to produce a resolute performance to have any chance of winning the match.
Prediction: Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks