clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

PL Preview: Manchester United v. Chelsea

No flying wing in sight, but this is no doubt going to be a back-alley fight. Prepare for a scrap, people.

flying-wing

As you can see above, there are ways to rattle Nemanja Vidic. Bite that motherfucker.

Who: Manchester United
What: Premier League, Round 37
When: 8 May, 4pm local time (11am EST)
Where: Old Trafford (75,957)
How: Fox Soccer Channel (DirecTV 619, Dish 149)

Why: Why the hell not? This is our season, guys. A win would see us climb to the top of the Premier League table on goal differential. If you envisioned a similar outcome to the season in late December, then you sir should be fancying your chances in the next Mega Millions drawing. This truly has been for me - and I'm sure many of you as well - the most unlikely of scenarios. Win or not, applaud these players for having the resolve, mixed with a bit of good fortune, to get us in a position to potentially retain our league crown. Unbelievable.

No need to ramble on about this one. We all know what's at stake, as mentioned above. We all know the mountain that lie ahead and what's required to scale it.

This will be as difficult a task as we've faced all season. We have already failed at this hurdle once this season, not even a month ago. Hopefully Carlo and company have learned from that dismal night. They have regrouped and gained confidence. That being said, we weren't exactly awful that night. Clinical we weren't, organized we weren't at critical junctures. But there was fight, and that my friends is something to rally around.

Time to stand up and be counted.

The keys
Concisely argued
John Obi Mikel
Mikel has emerged as potentially our second-most important player during the recent resurgent. With our return to the 4-3-3, the Nigerian has become pivotal, not just for his ability but for the tactical gain his inclusion gives the team. His job is simple - win, retain and recycle possession. All invaluable, and done with aplomb. This while allowing his two midfield partners the freedom of attacking expression. Add in his newfound ability to subdue his stupidity, and we have a monster brewing.

At Old Trafford, he will have his work cut out for him. How he marshals Rooney and his deep-lying movement will go far in deciding how this match unfolds.

Bob
David Luiz a potential weak point? Not likely. But his propensity for overly physical play and a rash decision or two could prove costly for us.

He must curb his appetite for us to excel. Don't forget what he brings to the side, though. Fire, passion, flair and an uncanny ability to widen our defensive range. Watch when our central defensive pairing spreads, allowing Mikel to play almost as a sweeper.

The Mighty One
The difference. Our match winner.

There is no player in our team, on current form, that can have a greater individual impact on a match than Didier Drogba. Few players on the planet can single-handedly carry a team to success like the Ivorian most certainly can. He's shunned malaria, and the petulance that initially surfaced with the arrival of Fernando Torres, to return to the land of elite. Many of us thought he was done, but no. Sensationalism at its finest, but this is a rebirth of sorts.

As he goes, we go. Vintage Drogba - fiery, bulldozing, rugged, unhinged, on the cusp of breakdown - and we will be in position to win.

Projected XI
Cech
Bane-Bob-EBJT-Cole
Essien-Mikel-Lampard
Kalou-Drogba-Malouda

Video bonus: More scraps

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History