'The return' as Sky Sports are billing it will be a game a little more Seria A a little less Premier League. Both managers enjoyed great success in Italy with highly functional teams. This game will be exactly that, functional. One would hope it will entertain more than last Monday's game did but Jose won't care so long as the result is positive. Another 0-0 would suit him fine and considering Chelsea's performance V Leicester coupled with the fact United played on Thursday a draw would be a great result. Below is how we see the teams lining up:
Pedro for Willian is a possibility as is Young for either United winger. It's likely in my opinion that out of possession United line up with Fellaini and Herrera alongside one another to try and screen the wingers who come inside a lot, this would leave the full backs free which may be a necessity with Hazard roaming and the possibility of overloads with Alonso or Moses. Personally, I would line up with a 1-4-4-2 if I was Mourinho playing Pogba on the left of a midfield 4 and Mkhitaryan on the right with Rashford up front with Zlatan. This would be for the simple reason that Pogba could break on the counter from here, he has played here both for France and Juventus, there is also the added incentive of keeping Rashfords pace close to Zlatan and pinning back Chelsea's 3 man defence.
Have a look at how this new look Chelsea can pin teams in their own half.
When you do play Chelsea's System with roaming wingers who come inside and drift it can lead to a lack of passing players on or to a situation where players get dragged out of shape. Against Leicester Hazard's wandering attracted a lot of attention and ultimately led to more space for Moses.
So having seen the possible strengths to Chelsea's formation, how can they be got at?
Having seen this can United exploit that?
So yes United can create from wide area's and particularly when Valencia gets into advanced area's but can they fashion the kind of space needed to pull and drag Chelsea's defence out of shape?
If United are going to get an away win they will need to vastly improve in the switching the point of attack area. More positivity when combining in wide attacking zones is another must. Considering the likely event of United playing deep and Chelsea stopping the counter like in the first Clip its hard to see a United Win. That said remembering Anfield on Monday they didn't concede too many chances except for a Coutinho pile driver. With that in mind we are not calling a result as we don't see value there. Betting on a 'No' to both teams scoring is not great value either at evens, but it is highly likely that if United score first they will shut up shop and if Chelsea score first it may force United into a game-plan they have not prepared. So 'evens' or not we think its a winner. Under 2.5 goals and over 10 corners at 11/5 is a fair price and one we will be taking. United's tight defence coupled with Chelsea's organisation may spell few chances but looking at last weeks Leicester game it may result in corners. Leicester played as deep as you would expect United too but still got 5 corners due to the space out wide that a back 3 can leave, Chelsea won 8 corners due to spending most of the game in the attacking half. Considering the flank's are going to be where this game is won or lost we feel Valencia for man of the match at 33/1 is actually great odds, yes right backs rarely win such an award but this game could play into his hands. Last week we got it right, this week is more of an unknown in terms of watching Conte V Mourinho and differing styles we can't wait. Enjoy the game!