It’s Super Sunday and it’s Remembrance Sunday, and it’s every narrative wave crashing in over your head as Manchester United and José Mourinho come to town to take on Chelsea and Antonio Conte.
United have won just once in their last 15 league games at the Bridge, but even though Mourinho has continued that trend by losing last year (and in the FA Cup, too!) despite having never lost to Chelsea before in three tries, that’s probably the one bit of history between these two modern rivals that won’t matter at all once the actual game starts. What will matter is Conte vs. Mourinho, Hazard vs. Herrera, Matić & Lukaku vs. Kanté & David Luiz, and all the other individual and tactical battles that are sure to be fought on the pitch. When that whistle blows, all the talk, all the lies, all the hype, and all the sideshows will fall away and it will blue vs. red, to the death.
If you’re feeling a little nervous, that’s good. That means you care, and that means that this means something. Do not be alarmed, this is perfectly normal.
Come on, Chelsea!
Date / Time: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 16:30 GMT; 12:30pm EST; 10pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Anthony Taylor — for some reason, Mr. Taylor keeps getting these big assignments. His last Chelsea game was our 2-1 win over Spurs in week 2, while he was also in charge of last year’s FA Cup final when he sent off Victor Moses.
Forecast: Winter is coming.
On TV: Sky Sports Premier League (UK); NBCSN (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India)
Chelsea team news: Victor Moses remains out. N’Golo Kanté hopefully does not. He simply has to play. It would be a massive letdown if he still weren’t fit enough after his hamstring injury a month ago. Sure, you want to take it slow and easy with him — it is a long season after all — but this truly feels like a pivotal game. He has to play.
There are a few other knocks and bruises in the squad, but nothing too concerning and nothing that couldn’t be healed in the upcoming international break. Rudiger’s next yellow card will grant him a one-game suspension, unless he can first get to the halfway point of the league (19 games) on December 23 without one.
Chelsea’s three-game winning streak came crashing to a halt on Tuesday in Rome, but as far as just the league’s concerned, we’ve actually won two in a row. If we win a third, we’d be all of just one point behind second place.
Manchester United team news: In terms of league form, United have only won once in three tries, though that win was over Spurs, which combined with the 0-0 draw at Anfield probably provides the blueprint for how Mourinho will set up for his latest big-game scalp.
United have conceded just four goals in the Premier League thus far, keeping clean sheets in eight of ten matches played. Lukaku may be in as much of a rough patch as Morata, but his team certainly aren’t leaking too many goals, so it’s probably not as much of an issue for them.
Mourinho will be without two important midfielders in Fellaini (update: maybe?) and Pogba, giving Chelsea all the more reason to win the midfield battle and turn that into three points.
View from the enemy: The Busby Babe
Previous: You already know. Would love another first minute goal from Pedro.