|The battle will be between Antonio Rudiger and Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday when Chelsea host Manchester United. Who will come out tops? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Chelsea vs Manchester UnitedStamford Bridge Stadium5:30pm
If there’s one game that holds the key to the title race so far this season, this is it with United healing from the ashes of tragedy that characterized the eventual sack of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to the interim regime of Michael Carrick;
And then for the Blues who sit top of the table, just one point ahead of Liverpool who beat Southampton silly on Saturday and could be level on points with Manchester City should the Cityzens win against Westham and Chelsea fail to pick a point at least here.
Chelsea can easily be ranked the best team in the world at the moment, free scoring despite having Romelu Lukaku out for a while and no real striker upfront, and hardly concede with Antonio Rudiger and anyone chosen beside him locking opponents out, they’re steadily the team to beat in the title race.
Manchester United will file out in the premier league for the first time since sacking Solksjaer after that embarrassment at Vicarage Road last weekend, with Ralph Ragnick’s name in the media as the short term replacement at least till the end of the season, the team can pick things up from there.
How will United approach this game? They aren’t a small club that will set up to defend hopelessly and not even with the abundance of talent in the squad, this will probably be Carrick’s last game in charge but will he go all out to make a name for himself?
United have the quality to beat any team on their day and this should be one of the statement games for them, against a team at the top of the table, nothing will help their confidence more than a big result at Stamford Bridge.
United will not be able to call on Harry Maguire who was sent off at Watford after a very reckless challenge and Paul Pogba remains sidelined due to injury; Raphael Varane will be assessed ahead of kickoff but all point to a start for Eric Bailley.
Chelsea will continue to rely on the magic of their fullbacks, speaking of which they lost Ben Chillwell to a seemingly long term injury in their 4-0 win over Juventus in Europe on Wednesday, step forward Marcus Alonso, it’s plug and play, you have nothing to worry about when you have a functioning system.
Incidentally and maybe strangely, the last two games between these two have been goalless draws, not sure this one would go that way with Chelsea needing at least a point to remain clear on the log or entertain the chasing pack with fixtures coming thick and fast in December.
Cristiano Ronaldo once again struck in the champions league in midweek as Carrick got a win to launch his own career, he needs another showing from the greatest showman alive at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday, not just for the feel good factor but for his name to remain in gold on the books of United.