3 Key Battles Which Could Decide the Huge Clash Between Chelsea and Manchester United

The late kick-off on Sunday afternoon sees Manchester United head south to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. 

United haven’t won in the last two visits of Chelsea and will be hoping for a change this time round. Circumstances are different with United ahead of the Blues’ currently but a victory for Conte’s side will bring them even closer to the pack. 

Here are three key battles where the game could be won and lost at the weekend.

1. Cesar Azpilicueta vs Romelu Lukaku

In recent weeks, Antonio Conte has decided to play the Spaniard in the wing-back role due to his height. However, after a disastrous defensive performance against Roma, the Italian is likely to revert back to Chelsea’s usual back three. 

Conte’s fears will be targeted as Romelu Lukaku will look to be be a nuisance for Azpilicueta with the Belgian going to be easily able to power past him the majority of the time. 

The powerhouse has netted seven times, and with the Chelsea defence being a liability in the past few games, they will need to shore up if not United could have a field day going forward. 

2. Nemanja Matic vs Tiemoue Bakayoko

Return of the old against the replacement. 

Since Matic’s arrival to United it has enabled the Red Devils to play a completely different system with the Serbian sitting back allowing the other midfielders to go forward. Meanwhile, the man who he was replaced with at the Bridge, Bakayoko hasn’t had the best of performances in recent weeks. 

The midfield has been an area of weakness for the Blues and both will need to keep their discipline as this fixture has seen a fair few red cards in the recent meetings between both sides. 

Bakayoko needs to show his power, if not Matic is going to have a stroll in the park.

3. David De Gea vs Thibaut Courtois

The battle of the goalkeepers. 

Sunday’s game won’t bring many chances and with the few opportunities either side get it is crucial that the pair step up to the plate. 

As we have seen before, one goal changes the game. Tactics can go out of the window and the losing team will have to attack. The longer De Gea and Courtois can keep their team in the game, the more confidence they will gain. 

De Gea is on top of Courtois right now with double the clean sheets of the Chelsea man but with this clash being rather significant, will the Chelsea of old turn up?


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