- Manchester United and Chelsea meet in this weekend’s Premier League derby. But with much hinging on the result, are either team likely to force a victory? Will José Mourinho ‘Park the bus.?’
There’s a lot to be said about United and Chelsea’s results during the last two years. Both teams won important trophies last season, and are enjoying solid form this year, despite criticism from some of the clubs’ fans.
Both teams have at their helms successful managers, known for prudence rather than bravery. In layman’s terms, both José Mourinho and Antonio Conte have been accused of “parking the bus” on more than one occasion.
Manchester United have the important home advantage in playing at Old Trafford. In Jose Mourinho’s 50 games on home ground, United lost just twice (both to rivals Manchester City).
United’s most recent game, in the Champions League tie against Sevilla, has once again shown the team’s defensive strength. In goalkeeper David De Gea, United have found a hero, with the Spaniard providing the safest pair of hands in all of Premier League this season.
Antonio Conte boasts a similar record at Chelsea to Mourinho’s at United. The general opinion about the Italian is different, however, with reports that the manager could be on his way out.
However, the team will feel confident after their 1-1 draw home to Barcelona in the Champions League, a match they likely would have won, had it not been for Lionel Messi’s inspired performance
Will José Mourinho Park the bus?
There’s plenty of star power on display for both sides, but what the two managers seem to favour are dependable, tactically clever players. Mourinho has found on that he can rely on David De Gea. With Paul Pogba likely to be benched once more, the Spaniard can expect to be needed on several occasions.
Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will pose the biggest threat for Chelsea. But the talented duo have yet to live up to expectation. Their manager may feel more comfortable getting the most out of his team’s defence, with scoring an unexpected bonus. United’s most durable element since Mourinho has taken over the team has been the defennce after all.
Eden Hazard is currently on form. The Belgium midfielder has been providing both goals and assists. Willian will pose another threat to United. Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud, Chelsea’s best-known forwards are unlikely likely to start. Not due to injury or suspension, but rather their sconsistently disappointing record this season
Does José need the points Mour?
The Premier League has proven itself to be the most attractive football competition in Europe in recent years. The best managers and players flock towards Britain to be on this stage. However, either team will likely park the bus, if the score favours them. Chelsea, in fourth place technically need a victory. However, a draw will hardly be judged as a dramatic misstep.
Manchester United are in second place and have chased City for the entire season. While the pursuit is ongoing, the 16 point difference separating the teams may affect United’s morale. It could be said therefore, both sides would be happy with a draw.
Whatever the result, fans are likely to witness an exciting, highly tactical battle, between two of Europe’s biggest clubs.