Scouting Manchester United Opposition: Chelsea Chasing The Title Race

Finally, the international break is over and now Manchester United reigns here. The Premier League campaign returns and what a match we are having this Saturday. Manchester United are traveling to Chelsea at early kick-off in a match that could prove crucial for both sides. Chelsea are off to an impeccable start and a win against the Devils would propel them even more, give them confidence in their fight for the title race.

Manchester United, on the other hand, really need to make a big win, having failed to do so since the start of the season. A dismal start to the Premier League season is even worse when it is only Tottenham from the top six teams that Man United have faced. Chelsea will be a big test.

Their Current Results

Chelsea’s start to the season is far better than many expected. When Maurizio Sarri joined the club this summer, plenty of fans and pundits expected a dodgy start to the season. A radical change in the way the team now plays should have brought at least some turmoil at the beginning, at least that was the logic.

However, eight matches into the season, Chelsea have six wins, are still undefeated and only two teams have both scored more and conceded less. The two draws were against West Ham and Liverpool, so it would be safe to say only the Hammers were a slight bump in the road so far. But that is normal and Chelsea did score three or more goals on three occasions this season. Eden Hazard is in form of his life and things look rosy.

What Is Maurizio Sarri Doing Differently?

So, what did Sarri do differently? Everything. Simple as that. Under Antonio Conte, Chelsea where rigid, defensively solid and in attack there was not too much flair. N’Golo Kante played a huge role at the centre of the park, while wing-backs offered a new dimension. Under Sarri, it is a typical 4-3-3 formation with high pressing and huge eagerness for great possession of the ball.

That gave a new role to Kante, as he is more of a ‘free eight’ now, rather than a watercarrier, while Eden Hazard has more freedom than ever. He was often stifled, both under Mourinho and Conte and now he enjoys the new system. Chelsea did score a lot of goals so far, but they still lack goals from a proper goalscorer and that is an area they need to improve if they are to truly challenge for the talent. The back four could be hurt, but only if Jorginho’s role in their play is minimized.

What Is Their Reality?

Chelsea’s reality right now seems a top four finish – or to be precise, staying amongst the top three teams. They seem better than both North London rivals and Man United, while Man City and Liverpool look better equipped for a long season. Chelsea could get tired at some point, with their small squad and demanding style of play.

Finishing in top four should be their priority, but a good result for them would be a huge boost ahead of some important matches.

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