The stage seems set for an Epic showdown between two teams in amazing form at the moment. Victory on the 30th of August for Swansea against West Brom gave them a third successive win for the first time as a Premier League club and taking into account their progress in the league Cup, their best start to a season in 91years.
Title contenders Chelsea are playing their best football since Carlo Ancelotti’s double winning season. The instant success of summer signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas has set the Premier League alight. Chelsea are still winning matches, but this time in a way every fan of the game can enjoy.
With both teams enjoying what seems to be the start of an unbeaten streak given their red hot form, it is almost inevitable that only one team will continue flying high after hostilities on Saturday. Pundits and bookmakers alike are tipping the blues as clear favorites. We agree, and here are 5 good reasons why;
- Jose Mourinho is a better tactician than Gary Monks
Being manager of Swansea City is Monks first ever job in top flight management. Jose Mourinho on the other hand has travelled through most of Europe winning every relevant trophy available.
When both teams are deadlocked on the pitch after giving it their all, the rest of battle then falls to the managers. From then on, it becomes a tale of the veteran against the rookie. In this instance, we expect the veteran to triumph.
- Chelsea are Playing at Home
In the last league meeting between the two sides, Gary Monk complained of crowd pressure on the referee and attributed his centre back’s sending off to the antics of the blues supporters. The Stamford bridge crowd heard straight from the horse’s mouth that they made the difference in this fixture before. They’ll be even more determined to make such a well publicized impact again. Going to the home of one of the loudest crowds in England isn’t going to help the visitors one bit.
- Calamity Taylor
In their first match at old Trafford, I watched Januzaj beat Neil Taylor multiple times on the left till he was able to create the only goal United scored. Neil was making badly timed challenges and was being beaten for pace against players like Ashley Young who aren’t particularly fast. He was on a yellow card and it was only a matter of time before he saw red. Luckily his coach pulled him out for the pacy fullback Tiendelli before the situation got out of hand.
- The double pivot of Jojo Shelvey and Ki Sung- Yueng
Since the popularity of the 4-2-3-1 soured, it has always been a battle of the pivots between teams that roll out this same ‘pivot formation’ against each other. Usually, the most physically imposing pivot wins that battle. Which was basically the reason Manchester city’s duo of Toure and Fernandinho were taking everyone else’s lunch money till they encountered the Matic and David Luiz pivot last season. If Swansea were to start a Jojo-Ki Sung pivot as predicted, it is my feeling that Matic would make the difference. All this, coupled with the fact that Fabregas is a much more effective passer than any of the Swansea midfielders.
Matic is most likely to dominate the pivot defensively, while we might see the Ex Barcelona man control the game from the middle of the park.
- Chelsea’s Quality Will Shine Through
In football, the team with the most quality all around pitch usually wins the match. There are however exceptions to this rule-as is the case with every rule. These exceptions do not negate the initial point. Quality teams will most likely win any football match.
A good way to ascertain the team with more quality, is to compare a player with his opposite positional player on the opposing team.
For example; Courtios against Fabianski is a mismatch. So is a backline of Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta & Ivanovic against Williams, Amat, Taylor & Rangel. A comparison of the other forward positions and even the bench will basically tell the same story.
The popular saying that names don’t play football goes out the window when you watch players like Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez and even Hazard take out an entire backline singlehandedly.
Although it won’t be an easy ride for the blues, we expect them to just about nick the result, to stay top of the league table come Saturday.