Here we are, the Premier League begins! Manchester United are opening their domestic campaign on Sunday afternoon, when Chelsea will be in town. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will start his first full season in Premier League, in which he will want to prove doubters wrong and show them that his Man United will be a modern, free-flowing side with youngsters shining bright.
At least that is the hope. On the other side, the rival is a well-known one. Chelsea have had an odd season with Maurizio Sarri last year. He arrived late and had almost no pre-season, he was undermined by the English media and sometimes even his team, but in the end he delivered. His finish in third place in the league and winning Europa League meant that the Champions League football will return to Stamford Bridge, but also some new European silverware was won in the meantime.
Still, that was not enough for him to stay and Sarri went to Juventus.
Enters Frank Lampard
In his place came the club legend, Frank Lampard. Former player and Champions League winner with Chelsea will now be in a completely different position than last time he was there. After just one season in football management, Lampard gets the chance to prove he is worth his salt and in a some way, he is similar to Solskjaer. He was a big name as a player, but still has not showed everyone how good of a manager he can be.
Lamps’ inexperience in management might hinder Chelsea at some point this season and his play-off final with Derby County was a great feat, but a slightly lucky one. To make things worse for him, he could not rely on heavy spending that many others before him could.
Transfer Ban Will Not Help Them
Chelsea were banned by FIFA for approaching underage players in a way that was not allowed and therefore cannot sign new players for two transfer windows. Technically, that is not completely true, as Chelsea did sign Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid this summer, but that was allowed to them because of the loan that started before the ban and the option-to-buy clause that was part of the contract.
Lampard will have to do in the league at least as much as Sarri did, but with much harder circumstances. Chelsea have lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid and it will be a great challenge to spread his goals and assists on the players Lampard has at disposal. David Luiz has left on the last day of the transfer window and is now at Arsenal, which could also be a problem during the season, as Rudiger is currently injured and Christensen has not impressed that much.
Manchester United might be in a good position meeting Chelsea on the start of the season. Whilst the Blues might be high on their enthusiasm due to Lampard’s beginning, they might not be the team they can become throughout the season. Many young players, such as Mason Mount or Christian Pulisic, will still have to adjust and with Christensen and Zouma in central defence of a 4-2-3-1, Anthony Martial might have a pleasant game.
It will be an interesting season for both Lampard and Chelsea and things might get very interesting right at the start of it all.