Chelsea are at Stamford Bridge for Saturday’s crunch Premier League showdown against Manchester United. The Blues have made an unbeaten start to the season which sees them within goal difference of table-toppers Manchester City and they have the opportunity to extend their run versus United against whom they have an incredibly strong home record.
Meanwhile, United are currently lying only in the eighth position after a lacklustre start to the season and they are already seven points off the top of the table. The Mancunian giants come into the lunchtime showdown with the Blues eyeing their maiden win at the Bridge since October 2012.
Two things to watch for:
Eden Hazard’s performance: The Belgian has started the current season in sublime fashion with seven goals and three assists from just eight league matches and during this period, he has failed to contribute to the scoresheet in the just the sole goal against West Ham United which ended with a 0-0 scoreline. Unlike in recent seasons, the attacker’s consistency has been something which has increasing improved under Maurizio Sarri and his supposed free role on the pitch should provide him with the license to test a fragile United backline without worrying about any defensive duties.
United’s central defensive combination: United’s defensive record has been far from impressive during the ongoing campaign and they have already conceded half the number of goals (28) as last season while keeping just a single clean sheet. As such, Jose Mourinho has regularly changed the partnership at the heart of the backline and this should pretty much end up being the case this weekend. Chris Smalling has been a constant in each of the previous six matches but there should potentially be a change of partner with Eric Bailly likely to benched after lasting for just the opening 18 minutes of the recent 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle United.
Image – Getty