Scouting Next Opponent: Chelsea Chase Champions League Return

Manchester United have lost the derby to Man City, but just four days later they have an important match that could decide which team will go to Champions League. Chelsea will be in town on Sunday, trying to make themselves safe in the top four, but a win for the home team would mean a dramatic run-in of the season.

‘Double Double’ Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is having a ‘double double’ season, if we are going to use basketball terms. With 16 goals and 13 assists in Premier League this season, he has entered double digits in both columns. The Belgian winger has done brilliantly to drag Chelsea forward in some matches, scoring some vital goals, but overall, this still does not feel like his best. Hazard is often bringing star performances to the big games, like he did against Liverpool this season, but he still has long periods when he does not look bothered enough.

It is a testament to the great talent he possesses that a season with 29 goals+assists in Premier League is deemed as not ideal from him. Too often he played in a central attacking position, which does not suit him in the slightest, whilst some matches against weaker Premier League sides he simply did not turn up. That is why he embodies Chelsea so perfectly.

Inconsistent Form Equals Unpredictability

It is because Hazard is very talented, sometimes deadly, but still inconsistent. And that is exactly how you could describe this Chelsea team. Some of their performances were marvelous, but they also had a 6-0 loss against Man City, 2-0 loss against Everton and so on. They are inconsistent and thus, they are also unpredictable. You never really know what you will get with Chelsea.

Their defence can be erratic, but also a powerful tool, depends what kind of David Luiz performance we see. Right-hand side of the pitch can be reliable but also go unnoticed, with Pedro and Willian not being ideal options for a team that wants to challenge for the biggest trophies. Chelsea have won just one point in past two league matches (2-2 at home against Burnley) and have just three wins in last seven matches in the league. Their results on the road could be good news for Manchester United.

Pressing Jorginho

A midfield three of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek has its qualities, but having in mind Kante’s qualities and energy and Loftus-Cheek’s technical ability in advanced areas, Jorginho has proved to be somewhat most easy to unsettle. He has been the most one-dimensional role of the three players and seems a bit unable to adjust when he is heavily pressed. The defensive midfielder is very important for setting tempo to this team, but when he was under a lot of pressure, he did not perform well and the whole Chelsea team felt that. Maybe there will be a special role for Jesse Lingard in this match to try and unsettle him with plenty of movements and pressing whenever Jorginho is in possession of the ball.

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