Chelsea will win this season’s Premier League – make no mistake about it; but would it be too farfetched to make Manchester United favourites going into the Stamford Bridge clash on Saturday?
Eight points separate the two sides with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea sitting comfortably at the top of the table with a game in hand on those below them, counting down the matches until they are crowned champions –whilst Louis Van Gaal’s United are still involved in a fight for a Top 4 finish, albeit a fight they are now winning by some distance ahead of bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
Yet since mid-February, the London outfit who have not lost poll position at any point this season, have been somewhat stuttering along – making a meal of victories over mediocre opposition in Everton, West Ham, Stoke, Hull and QPR.
It seems absurd to criticise a team which has seen a maximum return of 15 points from 15, but the lack of conviction and dynamism, plus a certain reliance on opposition mistakes in comparison to the Chelsea which was steamrollering opposition at the beginning of the season has raised a few eyebrows and certain left a few unanswered questions.
What has happened to the form of Cesc Fabregas in the second half of the season? Are Chelsea going backwards having been knocked out of the Champions League by Paris St Germain; a side they beat last year?
Of course the mark of a true title winning side is being able to win ugly; and Chelsea under Mourinho knows just how to do that.
In stark comparison – Manchester United struggled throughout the early part of the season having been struck with severe injuries and unable to find a style or system suitable to the players available which saw embarrassing losses to the likes of Swansea and Leicester – although amidst the crisis they did manage to grind out a couple of impressive results including away wins at Arsenal and Southampton despite being completely dominated throughout each match.
Since mid-February, United have finally found a settled side coinciding with Van Gaal’s philosophy which appears to finally be working.
The likes of Tottenham, Liverpool, Aston Villa and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City have been blown away by a fired-up and confident Old Trafford outfit.
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