The International break is upon us as we look forward to how the national teams get on in the UEFA Nations League games.
However on the conclusion of the national team games and resumption of league football, Manchester United would go head to head against Chelsea live at the Stamford Bridge.
Both sides strongly in need of the points though for different reasons: Chelsea joint league leaders at the top of the Premier League table would go one up above their rivals with a win while United in need of the points to steer their season steady ahead of the battle for top 4 places.
However, the match would represent much more than a game as two sides with opposing philosophies and ideas go head to head for the ultimate showdown.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri comes with a resume of having played a fluid, attacking football at Empoli and then Napoli. His brand of football has been strikingly obvious with the Blues scoring an average of two goals per game in all competitions.
United, with a pragmatic boss, Jose Mourinho have not been that fortunate, with the Red Devils averaging 1.6 goals per game in all competitions.
The slowest attacking side versus the fastest?
With Sarri exhorting his players to express themselves on the pitch, the Blues have displayed a possession-based dominant game however with high-speed movement of the ball, the goal against Liverpool in the Premier League a testament to this fact.
At its peak, the Blues gameplay could be a rapid zigzag, sharp, prodding and incisive, aiming to beleaguer the opponents, with the Blues sacrificing defence for a consistent attack.
Manchester United’s slow, ponderous and laborious game has been the subject of news headlines and in-depth analysis in post-match comments. The Red Devils are subject to rigid, maintain-your-places, build-up-the-attack football with the objective to defend first, and then attack.
Would the free-flowing football with no thought for defence prevail, or would the rigid, predictable, position – based football win out in the end?
The best player in the Premier League against the Association football fourth most expensive player?
The new Premier League season has seen the rise and rise of Eden Hazard. Deputed to playing from the bench in the first two games of the season, the Belgian superstar has however bludgeoned his way into the starting lineup and risen to the occasion of providing an outlet for the Blues high-intensity attack.
With seven goals in nine games and Blues’ highest goal scorer so far, match attendees of the EFL game would have reels of the Belgian’s goal against the Reds continuously playing in their heads, as Blues boss Maurizio Sarri votes that Hazard can hit the 40 – goal mark this season.
Manchester United’s record signing, Paul Pogba stands out on his own among the raggedly assembled Manchester United squad – from three managers. The French superstar has often been criticized for inconsistency in performance, though prone to flashes of brilliance – reason behind the Red Devils’ transfer of £89m to the coffers of Juventus for the France international.
However, it could be detrimental to underestimate the Frenchman. Highlights of the Newcastle game saw the French superstar drag his beleaguered side across the line as the Reds ran out winners over their opponents.
Spanish No. 1 against His No. 2?
While there has been criticism surrounding United’s backline and the letting in of goals for the fun of it, United world-class goalkeeper David De Gea, an impregnable fortress the previous season – has shown signs of vulnerability this season.
However, the Spanish No. 1 – disputably the world’s best – is still in the business of rescuing his side from uncomfortable situations, with the game against the Magpies a glaring example.
World-record signing, Kepa Arrizabalaga, after a high-profile move to the Blues on deadline day has exhibited a posture of having settled successfully in the club. 4 clean sheets in 8 games, with the Blues’ focus on unyielding attack, Spain’s No. 2 has shown success in helping his side put games to bed.
With both goalkeepers on duty in the international break in the game against Wales, the Spanish No. 2 coming on for his more illustrious counterpart in the second half of the game, Spain head coach Luis Enrique has shown strong man management skills toward managing both equally good keepers.
What history tells us
With the ex-Napoli manager on his first season in the English League, Sarri is yet to come in contact with the rigours and demands of the Premier League. Proudly, he remains the only manager to have gone unbeaten this season in all competitions.
United manager, Jose Mourinho has always been pregnable to his former employers, with the Red Devils manager subject to a 4 – 0 defeat in his opening season, and a 1 – 0 defeat the season after.
Would history repeat itself?
Are United on the brink of another humiliating defeat or would the United manager be able to come up with the goods to ward off any attack?
Check out our game – to – game analysis and predictions days before kick – off.
Chelsea vs Manchester United would be on live at Stamford Bridge on the 20th October