Can Chelsea take advantage at Old Trafford on Sunday, this after recent defeats for United against Everton and Man City? Defeats have also come for Arsenal against Palace and Wolves. Plus Tottenham lost against West Ham on Saturday. So, who really does want to step up to take third and fourth positions?
The recent point against Burnley doesn’t seem quite so bad now, especially considering how our rivals have slipped up. With just the three league games to come for Chelsea, a win in Manchester would go a huge way to helping us cement a place in Europe’s premier tournament next season.
A further question to come from the game tomorrow is, how will Sarri approach the game? At Liverpool recently, he decided to play Hazard through the middle, which is more than a probability tomorrow. His other option and the one that I’d choose, is to play Giroud up front, especially for his heading ability at corners and free kicks.
Although Higuain scored against Burnley, I don’t see him as a contender to start in Manchester. The fit again Toni Rudiger should come back into central defence to play alongside David Luiz. Kante remains a doubt with bruised ribs.
United themselves require three points to give them a real chance of making Champions League football next season. Since Solskjaer has been given a permanent contract, their players have slipped into default Manchester Mourinho mode, with a squad of misfits, misfiring. Their lacklustre display at Goodison Park last week was amusing to watch. They made a small improvement in the derby against Manchester City, but not enough to really trouble City.
Patience might be needed if we are to beat United, it might take a late goal, as long as we play our game properly. Some kind of revenge for the cup defeat would be good, especially to really grind them down and to stop their Champions League hopes in their own stadium. If we were to win, we’d be six points ahead with at least a nine goal plus swing, in our favour.
Sarri really needs to get his eleven spot on and to tell the players who step out onto the Old Trafford pitch to keep possession of the ball as though their lives depend on it. Taking our opportunities is imperative – it’s time that we won at Old Trafford again.
My Prediction: A tight, tense game, with one goal perhaps being the game changer. If we can catch United on the break and we stay solid, I’ll take us to win 0-1.