Looking at this fixture and seeing what a win would do for either teams shows me how far we both fell off, a win for Chelsea could propel them back into the top 4 depending on West Ham’s result, whereas a win for Utd would push them 9 points ahead of 5th place and positioned greatly to get a top 4 place, while also putting a tad bit of pressure on Man City. Back in the day this fixture would be a title decider, a CL final, the two heavyweights of English football. Now both sets of fans find themselves checking Leicester’s fixtures and scores weekly, what a fall from grace.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, for United, they’re in probably their most consistent run at the top of the table post fergie, having picked up the most points and fewest losses in the past year and are potentially 2 players away from being a serious side. Chelsea on the other hand are in a period of transition, the Tuchel Effect is in full flow. Only 2 league goals conceded and fresh off a win vs Atletico Madrid, signs are there that Thomas Tuchel knows what he’s doing. Perhaps in the next season we’ll see the return of these two heavyweights at the top end of the table but for now we gotta accept the mediocrity both clubs are in.
As mentioned earlier, these two clubs have had some classics so lets take a trip down memory lane and forget about the mediocrity for a few minutes…
What better way to start than one of the most evenly contested CL finals ever, both teams stacked with superstars, both with offensive approaches and both with belief they were the best. The talent on show in this final was crazy, Chelsea had Drogba, Lampard, Ballack, Essien, Terry, Cole and Cech. United had Ronaldo, Rooney, Scholes, Rio, Vidic and Evra. And that’s me leaving players out on both teams, it was probably the most evenly matched final ever. Chelsea fans can scroll past now unless they want to relive what is probably their worst footballing moment ever.
I don’t think my heart could endure a CL Final penalty shootout today, was getting nervous just watching back the hightlights, what a night it was, Terry slipped, Anelka missed and it was “Red in Russia” as Martin Tyler famously said.
The Special One
In his first press conference in England, Jose Mourinho famously coined himself ‘The Special One’ and boy did he prove himself right, conceding 15 goals along the way as he led Chelsea to their first Premier League title, he became the only manager aside from Sir Alex Ferguson to retain the title. They did so with an empathetic 3 -0 win at home to United.
This defeat summed up the gap between the two teams at the time, many thought Chelsea would go and do it again next season but Sir Alex did what he did better than anyone else in football, he found a way back to the top.
Knocked off their perch
It had been 5 years since the 06 Chelsea win, Utd won 3 in a row before conceding the title back to Chelsea who were frightening under Carlo Ancelotti, this meant these to two sides had shared the latest 6 titles between them, 3 apiece. Utd were looking for title no.19 which would officially knock Liverpool off ‘their f*cking perch’ while Chelsea were looking to cement themselves as the new best in England. In the reverse fixture at the Bridge Chelsea were 2-1 winners meanwhile Utd went through in the CL Quarter Finals. Going into the game United were on the cusp of a record 19th title win and victory here would make it all but impossible not to win the title.
All fears were allievated after just the first minute when Chicarito scored, he loved a goal against the blues! Vidic wrapped it up later on and we were well on our way to no.19.
Chigo’s Combined XI
In goal I went for Deano, De Gea can’t be trusted in an important game, Mendy is shaky and Kepa is Kepa. At CB I went for the experience of Thiago Silva at CB and the pace and ability of Bailly, this would be an unreal partnership. At LB you have to have Luke Shaw who’s been the best full back this season and then at RB I went for AWB who’s in good form although I wouldn’t be too angry seeing Reece James there.
Running it back to 2017 I have a Kante Matic pivot, Matic can sit and distribute the ball and Kante can do his running for him. Had Pogba been fit he’d be in here, Fred, McTominay, Kovacic and Jorginho can watch from at home.
No brainer with Rashford at LW and Bruno at 10, on the right its been the two Mason’s and I give Greenwood the edge although Mount does have a lot to offer. I considered CHO but opted against. Pulisic, Havertz and Ziyech didn’t even cross my mind.
Leading the attack would be Giroud fresh off his bicycle kick winner during the week, it was between him and Cavani who is struggling for fitness right now so I gave Giroud the edge although Cavani is the better forward.
Final Score Prediction
With Chelsea playing a 5 at the back and being hard to break down whilst also creating very little I think this will be a very tight game that’s decided by either a Rudiger or Maguire/Lindelof/De Gea mistake, I’m gonna back my defence and go for 0-1 to United with Bruno capitlising on a Chelsea mistake at the back!
Chelsea 0 – 1 Man United
Before we get into the other Combined XI, United fans check out some of our recent United and Chelsea related posts below!
Mendy has to start, he’s been solid all season, you have to have Thiago Silva in there, he’s been our best performer this season and I’ve got Zouma in alongside him, who’s better than all of United’s options. Reece James goes in ahead of AWB and Luke Shaw goes in at LB, he’s been one of the best in the League this year.
I’m bringing back the iconic french pivot of Pogba & Kante, don’t care if Pogba’s injured! The rest of the options are awful.
Rashford on the left and Bruno behind the striker have to go in. CHO on the right ahead of poster boy Mount and Cavani upfront ahead of the donkey Giroud, imagine James whipping crosses in for him! Would be like Jordan and Pippen.
Final Score Prediction
I don’t see too much in it, would love a CHO hattrick but in reality it’ll most likely be a draw between the two teams.
Chelsea 1 – 1 Man United
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