This Saturday will see Manchester United take on Chelsea. Manchester United, arguably the team with the biggest fan-base and legacy in the footballing world will meet Chelsea – the leaders of the new era of footballing greats. This is a fixture that in the past would see Chelsea punching above their weight as they took on the global titans Manchester United. It’s all different now. We mustn’t deny that after a certain change in the millennia, Chelsea’s luck took a change for the better and when we passed ‘Go’ in 2004 and collected our pocket money we too have become global giants. This season’s home tie is a fixture with renewed poignancy after 2013-14 saw Manchester United knocked off their pedestal, failed to qualify for the Champions League and arguably left without an identity after the big loss of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. This season they are back and ready to challenge for titles, eager to show themselves to be the real leaders of the English game once more.
As a Chelsea fan, you have to remain optimistic. We are top of the Premier League with only two league losses to our name this season. We play Manchester United on our own soil – Stamford Bridge – which seems to have magical properties and we are a far more confident side playing at home. When we went to Old Trafford earlier in the campaign we were left disappointed, Branislav Ivanovic was sent off in the 92nd minute resulting in a late 93rd minute Robin van Persie goal seeing us take just one point from the game. But we have to think differently, we are now challenging for a title and every single game takes us one step closer to lifting the Premier League trophy. Jose Mourinho’s workings out factor in two games we can draw and to win the league we can even lose a game or two.
I believe Jose will set us up in this game for us to draw, as he always does in these big clashes. But we are Chelsea, and we have the means to win this game without defensive mind-games. Here are five reasons why we can see off Manchester United this Saturday.
1) Student meets master
Ah, the age old proverb (from somewhere or other) in that you should never teach somebody everything you know. Jose Mourinho would be brilliant at anything he did, but without Louis van Gaal’s education and watchful eye he would not be one of the best football managers in the world. With van Gaal nearing retirement and Mourinho at the top of his game, it will be interesting to see how the two masters of mind-games set up against each other in Saturday’s clash and who comes out on top. Plus, Jose never had to get his testicles out to get his team to listen to him.
2) Loïc Remy
With 5 Premier League goals already under his belt this season, Loïc Remy could be our saving grace. Having spent a lot of this season on the bench due to injury and the form of Diego Costa, he is now match-fit and ready to take centre stage. Could Remy help us to beat our northern rivals?
3) Thibaut Courtois
It goes without saying that Courtois is one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. We also have Petr Cech on the bench, who would still fit in most people’s top ten lists. To have such a talented goalkeeping duo ready to interchange whenever needs be is rare in football. Courtois has been responsible for some spectacular saves this season and I’m sure without him we would not have won so many games. He has been a pleasure to watch, and although his United counterpart David De Gea is also in good form, Courtois is a rising star.
4) Stamford Bridge
The holy grail of home turf, having seen just one Premier League loss since the start of the 2013-14 season is about to be tested. With such great stats it is hard to doubt Chelsea will win, but we have to be pragmatic and look at what great form Manchester United are in. It will be a hard battle but I believe Chelsea will come out on top.
5) League Title
We are so close to winning the Premier League! If this isn’t enough to drive our players through then I don’t know what is. Sure, our points total can handle a draw or even a loss, but a win against Manchester United is not only prestigious but pivotal in winning the league before the season is over.
Only time can tell what the result will be. The fact that it is Manchester United we are facing is a delight for the press, but we need ignore the pressure. We must see it as simply a fixture worth three points, and move on to the next game.
Follow the author on Twitter @ellenrosemariex