Man Utd have it all to do as they tackle impressive Blues at Stamford Bridge


Fernandes will once again be relied upon to show his class in midfield. — Reuters

SECOND in the league, nine points ahead of defending champions Liverpool, into the Europa League last 16 and in the last eight of the FA Cup. Things are certainly looking up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Man Utd.

While there have been many ups so far this season, there have also been an equal amount of downs and huge disappointments to digest for the Old Trafford outfit.

Big wins in the league against Leeds and Southampton were brilliant. The FA Cup win over Liverpool was memorable and who can forget the 5-0 demolition of German title-hopefuls RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

But defeats to the likes of Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and that 6-1 whipping at the hands of Tottenham, all at Old Trafford, were a tragedy. But being knocked out of the Champions League was the most bitter pill to swallow.

The Red Devils had no business losing to the Turkish minnows and RB Leipzig, especially after starting their Champions League campaign with three straight wins.

Nevertheless, the attacking power of Man Utd has been a joy to watch.

Yes, Solskjaer’s side have got goals in them. Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Edison Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial are full of goals, pace and creativity upfront.

Man Utd have scored 53 goals in 25 games in the Premier League this term – their most at this stage of a top-flight campaign since the 2012-2013 season (60), which was the last time they won the title.

But it is their defence which has let them down this season. Draws against WBA, Everton and Leicester are a testament to that. Individual errors by Victor Lindeloef, the lack of pace of captain Harry Maguire and mistakes by goalkeeper David De Gea have cost Man Utd vital points on various occasions this campaign.

But also in defence, right-back Luke Shaw has been the side’s most consistent player and showed tremendous improvement, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka has the makings of a wonderful talent.

Solsjkaer takes his side tomorrow to Stamford Bridge to play a Chelsea team who have shown plenty of improvement since new manager Thomas Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard.

Man Utd have scored just once in five games against their big-six rivals this season and need to show more urgency and belief against the big boys. Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea were all there for the taking the last time out, so Solskjaer needs to up the tempo if his side are going to challenge on all fronts.

Chelsea did well to come away with all three points in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid in midweek and will certainly be boosted by that win. The Blues have now gone eight matches unbeaten since Tuchel succeeded Lampard and will be going all out to close the six-point gap between them and the Red Devils.

All things point to a cagey affair with neither side wanting to make any mistakes, so this game has a draw written all over it.

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