It is yet another super weekend in the Premier League as two top clubs clash again. Last weekend , it was the merseyside derby and Arsenal’s visit to the Etihad but this weekend, it is time for the Blues to visit Old Trafford to tackle Manchester United.
Both teams have had a rather indifferent start to the season. Chelsea sit in the 8th spot while Manchester United have to make do with the 14th position. It might still be early days but pressure is already mounting on both managers and if things do not improve fast, the unexpected might happen.
For Manchester United, they have already suffered two home losses this season; defeat to Crystal Palace and the humiliation at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur. Back to back wins against Newcastle and away victory over last season Champions League finalists, Paris St Germain have given Ole Gunnar Solksjaer some reprieve but tomorrow’s match against Chelsea is a litmus test that needs to be passed to avoid the inquisition of the jury. The match against Chelsea represents the second match against a top 6 side after the loss to Tottenham right there at the Theatre of Dreams. The Red Devils got it all wrong against Spurs and would be hoping to make amends against Chelsea.
For Frank Lampard, the pressure is already mounting. Contrary to heightened expectations after the summer splurge that saw the Blues sign six top players, the Blues have been uninspiring atimes. The home loss to Liverpool was disappointing but the capitulation against Southampton where they had to settle for a draw having led by 3 goals still leaves a sour taste in the mouth of fans. In midweek, it was another drab draw at home against Sevilla in the Champions League. This weekend is definitely a must win for Lampard if he is to prevent a run of 3 games across all competitions without a win.
Last season, Chelsea were totally outclassed in this fixture as they lost 4-0 and this season, they would be hoping to play better and post a better result. The game could be dubbed as a game between two struggling sides defensively. One area that Chelsea struggled last season was in the defence and despite the additions of Eduord Mendy, Ben Chiwell and Thiago Silva, they are still conceding goals for fun. So far, the Blues have conceded 9 goals in 5 Premier League matches leaving an average 1.8 goals per match. For Manchester United, they have already conceded 12 goals and it is just 4 games played by them, a ratio of 3.
If either of them is to stand a chance of winning the match, the defence has to improve. Both boast potent attacking talents that could create and convert chances but beyond scoring, they have to defend and do it well.
The result would not tell much on how both teams would finish the season but it could impact significantly on the managerial future of both managers especially Frank Lampard.