Manchester United kick off on Sunday afternoon against Chelsea at Old Trafford in a game that will most likely define the rest of the season. A win for United and they will fancy their chances for the title with a 6 point lead. A defeat, and we’re back to the starting blocks.
We’ve all heard enough already about this game.
Ronaldo, Kenyon, Ferguson, Lampard, they’ve all piped up.
Mourinho spoke once after the Champions League game but predictably, he’s kept quiet so far. He’ll either get the last word in on Sunday morning, or prefer to keep quiet till after the game.
You’d think it doesn’t matter – and to an extent you’d be right.
But reading all the comments struck two chords with me – one, the balance of power has changed so radically in the Premiership that Manchester United are underdogs going into a home game, despite the fact that they’re top of the table. Two, United will be relying on 12-13 players (starting 11 plus Evra/Heinze and Fletcher) to win them this game. Chelsea have at least 16 players to call upon.
For Manchester United to win, we need to win this game in the first half, and then control the second half.
For Chelsea to win, they need to control the first half, and win the second.
Chelsea will be happy with any points, because Manchester United need to win this game in order to be serious about winning the title. If United lose here, they will find it very difficult to win the league (although it’s not as if we’d lose hope, like Pool have already). If Chelsea lose, they’ll find it difficult, but not so much so.
Chelsea are saying that this isn’t a season-decider – well, for them it’s not. For United, this is the biggest game of the season, and they’d rather close the deal here than have to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (which we’ll probably have to do anyway).
No predictions, because this one’s too close to call. I think United will edge this one, but hey, you never know which superstar (on both sides) decides to make this their game.