First big one of the season
Its a matchday 1 BANGER. Manchester United welcome Chelsea to Old Trafford in what is looking like a very uncertain matchup. So many different aspects to cover but so little space, read on for the gist of it!
Conundrum is too strong of a word to describe United but i am however feeling pretty split about the Red Devil's. The first reason is Solskjaer. The Norwegian is undeniably a character that you cannot dislike, he is a great guy and was a great player. He managed to come in and turn things around in a very short timeframe last year but things started to go sideways pretty quick towards the end of the season.
It will be very interesting to see how United do after having a sufficient amount of time under Ole's tutelage and really adopt his ideas, given that he has limited managerial experience this is really his big chance to prove that he belongs on the biggest of stages.
Another reason is the squad. Lukaku, Pogba and Sanchez. What they have in common? spoiled kids with a god-given talent. They managed to get rid of Lukaku for a good price to Inter which is great but what is not so great is that they do not have a replacement for the centre tank and given that the transfer window is now closed i'm not sure how 'great' it actually is.
One has to be very skeptical when reading what is essentially gossip regarding footballers through the "news" and i really wonder how much of what has been said about Pogba is true. Regardless of what has been said about him, Pogba is the key to success. He gets a tremendous amount of stick but at the end of the day, he was more often than not the only one in the squad capable of changing the course of a game.
Last but not least, Sanchez. The little Chilean has been a total flop, it remains to be seen if he has the mental fortitude to push through and prove to people that he is still capable of performing in a United shirt but this is definitely his last chance.
On a positive side note, Wan-Bissaka is one hell of a signing and i look forward to seeing him play, great catch.
Big changes this summer. Lampard in, Hazard out and a transfer ban (as well as a few other things).
If things look uncertain for United, perhaps double that and you get Chelsea. Frank Lampard might have had a great debut season with the Rams last season but he still has zero experience when it comes to managing in the Prem which could be a major hurdle.
The pro's include him having a tremendous amount of experience (everything but being a coach) which will always be helpful, the backing of the fans as well as respect from fellow players. The con's are pretty straightforward and mostly consist of his lack of managerial experience.
Another massive change is that talisman Eden Hazard left for Real Madrid when they came calling, all inevitable really. The loss of David Luiz on deadline day came as a surprise but is another setback that might come to haunt Chelsea during the season.
Add the fact that Chelsea are currently in the midst of a transfer ban and it feels like things could really unravel at Stamford Bridge at some point.
However, the acquisition of Pulisic is very interesting and i am intrigued to see whether or not the American can take the Prem by storm. Could be a great fantasy addition at only £7.5(!).
It may look bleak but there are some positives in the mix. Chelsea have a fantastic youth section with a few players really looking to take the next step and i really believe that some of them have what it takes to cement themselves in the starting lineup. Guys like Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Hudson-Odoi need to prove their worth this coming season and i can easily see them starting in the near-future. Exciting stuff!
I get the feeling that United are more complete, the acquisition of Maguire can potentially provide the stability they have lacked since the Ferdinand/Vidic era and with 2 very offensively dangerous fullbacks in Shaw and Wan-Bissaka i can see a few goals in this one which is why i will be backing a United win at 6/5 with Bethard.