Manchester United won just three of their first 10 Premier League games this season. They have only lost three since. Louis van Gaal was a Moyesian fool, now he's a Ferguson-esque, black magic-wielding genius. His powers have become so great, many expect him to pull off the victory tomorrow in fact. And that's not something that happens often to Chelsea or to Mourinho or to Chelsea under Mourinho.
Last year's shocking reverse against Sunderland remains Jose's one and only Premier League loss at Stamford Bridge. Meanwhile, Chelsea have not lost to United in seven straight, including this season's 1-1 draw in October, which needed a last-gasp equalizer from Robin van Persie. The last time we lost, Fernando Torres got sent off for getting in the way of Jonny Evans's foot while driving at the goal. The time before that, we wasted Juan Mata's most beautiful goal by allowing a three-goal comeback. And the time before that, Torres graced us with that miss. And before that, Sir Alex had hexed Ancelotti. And before that, there was Moscow. But all that is history now, just like the current 7-match unbeaten streak. All that matters is Saturday.
Though, just how much it matters beyond the purely psychological is up for debate. A United win could possibly dent our confidence and sanity and tempt an epic collapse. But we only need four wins from the remaining seven games, and that's assuming others stay perfect.
Basically, United will almost certainly finish second or third. Chelsea will almost certainly finish first. So let's just enjoy.
Date / Time: April 18, 2015, 17:30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Mike Dean -- Mr. Dean's back for the fourth time this season and the 58th time in his career (most of any referee). We've had two 1-1 draws (Man City away, Southampton home) and a 3-0 win (Spurs) under him so far this season. He's refereed this exact tie just once, our 3-0 title clincher in 2006. More ominously, Dean was also the referee for that Sunderland loss.
Forecast: Bright sunshine, though a bit windy, maybe.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBC, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 2/HD (India); elsewhere
Online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Star Sports (India)
Chelsea team news: Diego Costa's out, Loic Remy is at least 51% ready. For what it's worth, Didier Drogba started the reverse fixture earlier this season and managed to get on the scoresheet. Drogba unfortunately has looked worse and worse as the season has gone on.
There are some minor rumblings that Kurt Zouma might get a surprise start with a specific assignment to man mark Marouane Fellaini, but it's probably more likely that we'll line up in our usual 4-2-3-1 just like we did away at Old Trafford. Oscar's subsitute appearance last weekend against QPR could see him restored to the starting lineup at Ramires' expense.
Manchester United team news: The big breaking news here is that
four three of United's starters from last weekend's 4-2 victory over Manchester City are injured. Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, and Phil Jones are all out (as is Marcos Rojo, who was Jones's replacement), which means that Van Gaal has to reshuffle his entire central midfield and his starting back four. We might even see something as crazy as Rooney playing a deep, holding position. Of course that still leaves Fellaini, Falcao, and even Ashley Young to worry about up front. Also, Juan Mata is expected to start on his belated return to Stamford Bridge, and he's been lights out lately.
Jonny Evans remains suspended, but Luke Shaw and Robin van Persie are both expected to be available for selection.
With maximum points from their last six, United are the second most in-form team in the land after Arsenal (whom we play next weekend). No matter the result in this one, it will not be easy.
Previously: Speaking of Juan Mata and his return to Stamford Bridge; let's remember that aforementioned worldy. Lordy! Wowza.